But once in awhile I tried to please everyone as much as possible. If the main dish was one boy’s favorite, then dessert was the other boy’s favorite. It was the best of both worlds for them—a favorite entrée and a favorite dessert.
Recently I have come up with a dessert that has to be the best of both worlds. I haven’t decided whether to call it a cheesecake brownie or a brownie cheesecake. It has two layers: a brownie bottom, and a cheesecake top.
So, if you like chocolate and cheesecake, you can have both in one piece. If you want chewy and smooth and creamy this is the dessert for you. If you like chocolate and vanilla, this is even better than Neapolitan ice cream. It’s even part convenience food and part “from scratch.” The brownie layer is a mix and the cheesecake layer is all homemade. A friend told me it’s perfect for her and her husband. He has celiac disease, so he eats the gluten-free cheesecake layer and she eats the brownie layer. Like I said, the best of both worlds.
Now try to convince your neighbors that as a Christian you have the best of both worlds. All they can see is what you can’t do and how much you sacrifice in time, energy, and types of entertainment. Especially if all you do is complain about what you can’t do, ruing the messed up weekends, the missed ball games and picnics, what else do you expect? You are supposed to make your life look like something they will want, not something they will hate.
So perhaps we should start by convincing ourselves. We don’t have to go to church; we get to assemble with our spiritual family. We don’t have to dress differently; we get to look like decent, classy people instead of prostitutes. We don’t have to give up drinking and smoking and drugs; we get to keep our dignity, breathe clearly, and preserve as many brain cells as possible. We don’t have to give up revenge and gossip; we get to get along with people and stay out of trouble. We don’t have to watch our language; we get to look like intelligent people with a real vocabulary. We don’t have to give up status and money and things; we find our joy wherever we are in any situation—we have learned in whatever circumstances we are “to be content,” Phil 4:12, and contentment equals happiness.
God does not expect us to be miserable in order to earn Heaven. Being a Christian is not a horrible life. It is a life of joy, a life of fulfillment, a life of health, a life of spiritual wealth. I have more family than any of my neighbors. One of them was amazed at the food brought during my surgeries, at the women who cleaned my house and the teenagers who raked the yard after Keith had a stroke. If I ever need help, I don’t have just one person to call, I have a whole list.
My marriage is intact and happy. My children are happy, productive citizens, and servants of the Lord to boot. We don’t have money problems because we don’t love things and don’t need luxury to be satisfied. We don’t have legal problems because we are honest and law abiding. We don’t lose our faith over our illnesses and disabilities because we have something far better in store for us.
Which leads us to the next world. If this life has been good—not perfect, for how could it be in a cursed world—the next one will be nothing short of amazing, an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,1 Pet 1:4.
God promises us a “best of both worlds” life, far better than a “best of both worlds” dessert. But He doesn’t make you eat it. He gives you a choice. You can have this world and the next if you do it His way. Otherwise, this one is all you get.
For bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come, 1 Tim 4:8.
For the recipe accompanying this post, click here.