In the 2014 movie, Chef, Carl Casper (played by Jon Favreau) is an acclaimed chef whose life and vocation are spinning out of control. After receiving a poor review, he blows up through an uncensored outburst on social media, which ultimately costs him his job. Already estranged from his wife and disconnected from his young son, Casper’s life hits rock bottom.
Some of us can relate entirely to our lives spinning out of control and crashing to a halt. For some of us, this includes a spiritual crisis – a point of saying, “I don’t know what I believe or what I stand for anymore.” Yet, for many of us, the spinning is slower and the crises are more muted. We just go along with life, sometimes falling farther away from our passion for life and work, and farther away from both our sense of who God is calling us to be and our connection to God. At subtle points of honesty in our lives, we may find that we have been going through the motions spiritually, but that we actually haven’t been growing in our discipleship.
When Chef’s Casper recognizes that he’s far from the person, father, spouse, and chef that he could be, he does something seemingly crazy: he buys a food truck. In the truck, he goes back to his culinary roots. He recommits himself to practicing his passion for cooking. And from this recommitment, he regains his life and his vocation.
We too can regain our lives, our meaning, our passion, and our purpose when we recommit ourselves to practices that nourish our souls. As we move from the start of the new year and toward Lent, it’s a perfect time to recommit our lives to the practices that can help us reconnect with God and grow as disciples of Jesus. Whether its renewed worship participation, joining a small group study, beginning a physical activity, or trying a new/old spiritual discipline, may this season be one of recommitment and renewal for us all.