We were running late for our lunch reservation in Burgundy, France. Our hotel concierge had assisted us in making the reservation the day before. We were warned it was a two hour drive but would be well worth the experience. “You’re very fortunate to get a reservation for lunch on such short notice. You will love it!”
Arriving at the restaurant, we discovered it was part of a chateau. In the lobby, we perused a display case with aging photos of some of the chefs who had worked or dined there. Next to one of the central figures was a statuesque woman and we surmised she may have been his wife.
“Bonjour, did you enjoy your rest?” My wife and I turned and were greeted by the same woman in the photograph. Our confused look was greeted with equal confusion from the hostess until we realized that she thought we were guests in the chateau. We gave her our names and reservation time and we were politely escorted to our table, facing an expansive tea garden, adorned with a botanical feast of colors. “Wow, we really got a great recommendation from the concierge! This place is beautiful!” I remarked to my wife who enthusiastically agreed.
The lunch was an amazing parade of dishes that showcased the soul of Burgundian cuisine, all paired with exquisite flights of wines that have elevated Burgundy to soaring heights of finesse in the world of wine. It was a four and a half hour indulgence that has never been equaled in all of our food travels.
After the meal, the sommelier returned to our table. “Did you enjoy your wines?”
Our beaming smiles telegraphed our reply. “They were amazing! These are the best wines we have had since we arrived in Burgundy.”
The sommelier bowed. “Merci beaucoup! Would you like to see the wine cellar?” My wife and I eagerly accepted the invitation. Escorted down a well worn stone staircase, we entered the hallowed cellar, lined with thousands of bottles. “Here is our most expensive bottle.” The familiar label of a 1959 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti was at my fingertips. I had only seen photographs of this holy grail of Burgundy wines.
“Did you select these wines?”
He nodded, “Some of them, yes. But we have three sommeliers here, so we work together.”
I was impressed. “You have three sommeliers here?”
Startled by my question, he looked at me and said, “Why yes, of course! For a three-star Michelin restaurant, you must have at least three.”
My wife and I turned to each other, eyes widening. “This is a three-star Michelin restaurant?”
“You didn’t know?”
Our blank looks answered his question. We were dining in a three-star Michelin restaurant and we did not even realize it! The splendor and grandeur of the restaurant and the food should have tipped us off. Only when we were hit over the head with the truth did we realize our supreme ignorance and naivety!
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:4 (NASB)
How often have I found myself in the presence of the splendor and grandeur of God and did not realize it? Surrounded by the opulence of the restaurant in Burgundy, I didn’t realize its exalted status. Surrounded by the riches of God’s kindness, love, and mercy, how often do I portray a similar ignorance?
I didn’t know!
This is never an excuse with God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.