My toaster has personality. I shared earlier in the week that I bought a new one, but I didn’t give much of the actual story. When my friend and I walked to the toaster section of METRO there were two on display. She pointed at one and said, “That’s the brand I have and it burns toast,” making the selection easy. The other brand had only two boxes on the shelf and we each grabbed one, setting them in our respective corners of the cart without really looking at the features.
It was only when I got home and reviewed the manual (and actual toaster), did I realize my good find. Just as there can never be too many zippers on a suitcase, there can never be too many buttons on an appliance … my toaster has an addtional three! One to cancel the order, one to defrost the bread, and the third to reheat your piece of toast. While only one may be necessary –isn’t toast something that you don’t reheat? I’m not a foodie, but come on. Someone, back me up!—how many buttons does your toaster have?
Eating a piece of toast, I looked at my toaster and it struck me that it reminded me of another appliance I had owned. There was something nagging about this sensation as I couldn’t quite place it. Until I realized that my 2012 toaster reminded me of the Easy Bake Oven I was given Christmas circa late 1970s. We had driven to Michigan to spend the holiday with my grandparents and my first cakes and cookies were baked in Parma. Though my toaster doesn’t use a light bulb to make tasty doll sized delights, it does have a toyish quality to it.
And then I notice the crème de la crème aspect of this new appliance I owned. It came with a fortune printed on its side:
Sanyo technology gives us a high quality of living (Chinese)
Science creates life of quality (English)
Really? First of all, I chuckle that the brand Sanyo is translated Science. But what gave me pause was that this toaster, this offering, this gift from science and technology would add quality to my life. Quality. While I think their meaning is more along the lines of convenience, I am choosing to have it add quality to my life in a different way.
When I plop a piece of bread into my toaster I am going to consciously think about bread.
Bread of heaven
Manna from heaven (literally “What is it?”)
The story of God providing manna daily to meet the Israelite’s needs is recalled in the Torah (Deuteronomy 8:3), the Historical books (Nehemiah 9:15), the Wisdom literature (Psalm 78:24, 25), and the Gospels (John 6:35+). It was a part of their story. It was a part of their history.
The quality of life that my toaster is going to add is not mere convenience, but as a tangible reminder of a God who did not bring his people into the desert to watch them starve. No, he is a God who provides the basics of life and does not weary or forget.
Daily, he provides. Daily may we see and receive. Amen