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The Worst Breakfast Burrito I’ve Ever been Thankful for

Paul Harvey used to tell a joke:

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans this week will be ill-fed, ill-sheltered, and ill-clothed….they call it 'camping'".

Amy and I went camping recently, near the shore of Lake Michigan. I can’t say I was ill-fed, and poorly sheltered. But I can give a hearty “amen” to the old aphorism, “there’s no place like home”.

I wrote this sitting in a McDonald’s, grateful for a truly wretched breakfast burrito. This …. thing ….I ate was a burrito in the same sense White Castle is a castle.

It consisted of a bland flour tortilla enveloping some reconstituted scramble eggs, along with sausage of dubious origin. Oh, and some “cheese”.

Please don’t get me started on the culinary delight that goes by the name of “American cheese”, which, I believe, was named by communist infiltrators. I mean, has anything ever caused more visceral anti-Americanism than this slimy orange square?

The whole burrito tasted like sadness and regret.

Especially when I remember the incredible breakfast burritos from Federico’s.

Federico’s is a chain of Mexican restaurants in Arizona. They serve the best breakfast burritos in the galaxy. Aliens visit area 51 because there is a Frederic’s nearby. It’s that good.

I go to Federico’s whenever I visit my third-favorite sister, Diane, and her husband, who live just north of Phoenix. They think I come Arizona to visit them; I really come for the carne asada burrito at Federico’s. It is the Mona Lisa of burritos.

So, why, then, does the title of this post say that I am grateful for the offering from McDonalds?

Well, I am grateful for it. Because I was in Michigan, which is too far away from Arizona to drive to Federico’s (I checked). And I was hungry.

You see, I got up much earlier than Amy, and really did not want to root around the camper in the dark getting my breakfast around. So, I came to Mickey D’s to grab some coffee and food. The coffee was good. The burrito was… available. And cheap. And besides, once you add on about four packs of hot picante sauce, you can’t even taste the American cheese.

It reminds me of something: sometimes it is better to be available than to be great.

I think of this regarding people’s needs which go far beyond hunger. Their need to be heard; their need to be helped. Their need to be accepted.

You and I may not feel like we have what it takes to help people in their needs. We may feel more like a mediocre burrito from the golden arches than the glorious ones from Federico’s.

But the people who need our help don’t have access to Mother Theresa. They have access to us.

Besides, I’ve learned something in my 39* trips around the sun: we are remarkably poor judges of what we bring to the table. We may feel that what we have to offer is a poor imitation of a breakfast burrito. But the ones who receive it may have a quite different opinion.

And He who made water into wine is more than capable of taking our McDonald’s burrito and turning it into one from Federico’s.

*All numbers are approximate

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