Sandra and I walked into the Longhorn Steakhouse last Friday night and I commented that I wasn’t really hungry, but I was looking forward to a good steak, specifically a ribeye. It’s been a while. We recently did a vegetable and fruit diet for 30 straight days and as soon as I came off of it, I overcooked a ribeye and out of respect and appreciation for all cows, I made an oath that I’d never cook a steak again. I’d leave that for the paid professionals.

I ordered the Cowboy and while waiting I tried to pretend I was listening to Sandra while I really couldn’t keep my mind off a bright red center and a beautiful marbled pattern. Just being honest…

The waitress arrived with our meals and sat before me a plate with 2 pork chops.

“Ma’am” (she was much younger than me, but it’s still polite to say “ma’am), “I ordered the Cowboy.”

“That is the Cowboy, sir.”

“No, I mean the ribeye Cowboy, not the pork chops.”

“Sir, the pork chops are the Cowboy. The ribeye is the Outlaw.”

Then I realized when I ordered she never did ask me how I wanted it cooked. Because everybody wants their pork chops overcooked and dry.

The waitress and Sandra witnessed all the color drain from my skin and virtually all life leave my body. Sympathetic, the waitress was kind enough to offer to have an Outlaw cooked for me and she would sneak it to the top of the list. But no, this wasn’t her fault or Longhorn’s fault. It was mine. I said the wrong word. And that wrong word happened to be an item on their menu.

Sandra said I probably saw the Cowboy on the menu and it was in my mind. No, I promise you I didn’t turn to the page that had dry pork chops listed. I was laser-focused on just the page with the steaks. I told this story to a friend and he said, “Of course, the Cowboy is a steak, right?” Unfortunately not.

So, I ate it. I wasn’t about to reward my stupidity by paying for both the Outlaw and the Cowboy and I wasn’t letting Longhorn foot the bill for my mistake. Sandra asked me how it was. It was like a dry pork chop.

But I’ve eaten worse. Harsh words. Prolonged bitterness. Poor decisions. Anger. Resentment. I’ve chewed on all of these things until I was sick to my soul. Until the Holy Spirit wins out and tells me “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

Maybe I’ll go back to fruits and vegetables. I hear that the Fruits of the Spirit are pretty tasty.

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