Have you ever gone to a restaurant where they serve fresh baked bread or chips and salsa while you wait for your meal? It tastes great, especially when you’re hungry and have to wait for your meal. But, many times, we’re already full before they serve us the meal we ordered. We know the starters or appetizers will fill us up so we can’t enjoy the meal – even it it’s the best meal we’ve ever imagined - but the food is there and it’s enjoyable so we eat it anyway.
On a similar note in today’s reading, Paul talks about “times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food” (The Message). Today, as in Timothy’s time, many people are searching to find meaning in their lives. If we listen to the news, read magazines, there always seems to be something new (or just newly popular) for people to try. They may be attracted to a philosophy or program because someone famous is practicing it. But it can’t be too difficult or get in the way of their life styles.
Paul tells Timothy to be persistent and steady in preaching God’s message. He also tells Timothy to encourage and have patience in his teaching. It’s not easy to hear the truth that we are sinners. It’s also not easy to acknowledge that we have no control over our salvation. We have to open our hearts to Jesus, accept the fact that He is our Savior and turn control over to Him. But once we let Jesus in, we come to the realization that it really wasn’t that difficult. And it’s comforting to know that someone much more powerful, wise and compassionate is in control.