When I was a child, Shoney’s Buffet was a big deal. Where else could you get a sundae bar, slabs of roast beef, and apple fritters all under one roof?

The endless opportunities Shoney’s offered were a child’s dream, and no one took advantage of the goodness Shoney’s provided more than my youngest sister, Sarah Rose. Upon entering the large buffet line, Sarah Rose grabbed a warm plate and scampered over to the chocolate pudding. She followed the pudding up with a mound of coconut sprinkles. Then, Sarah Rose left a tiny triangle of plate space available for “healthy food” aka instant mashed potatoes.

Sarah Rose’s meals were always similar and included things she loved, but her meals left her feeling really full and a little sick, but in a weird way still hungry.


Endless food choices awaited her, but Sarah Rose’s scattered eating and gobble a little of this and a little of that policy left her unfulfilled.

Today, combine social media with hundreds of thousands of service opportunities available to us and you have a service version of Shoney’s Buffet.

The plus side to this is we can get involved in just about anything.

If you want to help orphans, no problem.

If you want to work to end human trafficking, no problem.

Do you desire clean water for all? No problem.

What about building a school? No problem.

The downside of this is like Sarah Rose, we often gobble a little of this and a little of that, and we are left unfulfilled. We jump at service opportunities (because initially they sound fun), but we don’t fully involve ourselves, our hearts, or our finances in commitment to a cause.

My advice? Pray, pray, pray and see where God leads you to spend your time and money. My guess is He isn’t interested in a lifetime of sampling, but He instead wants you to invest.

photo credit.

coconut sprinkles, chocolate pudding, and a buffet of service opportunities

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 2 min