Swallowing My Pride… and a good burger

Posted: 01/31/2011 in Musings, Personal Walk, Worth Checking Out
Tags: , , , , , ,

Have you ever had a favorite drink/meal removed from a menu?

To go to a restaurant, and to find that some all-important executive chef, without consulting with you, did away with what once brought you great delight.

Now imagine your dismay, if you had found that the entire menu was being done away with, as your favorite restaurant was being scrapped and turned into “some burger joint.”

I loved Zin Bistro.

Not only that, I had history and tradition at Zin Bistro.

It was where, along with good friends: Jon Herrera & Jeremy Friezen, I learned to pause, to savor, to enjoy good food and wine. It was where during college, over appetizers and a flight of wine, I also remembered how important it is to pause, to savor, to enjoy good friendship.

From Arugula to Zinfandel it broadened my horizons, and was probably as influential in my collegiate education as any course I took at the U of A.

So what is the appropriate response, after being in Australia for two years, to come home and find Zin Bistro has been changed into: Zinburger?


Okay, that might be a bit far… however I might have promised myself that I would never go to, or like, this “abomination.”

If I am gifted in any area, it is in my keen ability to make any short story… long. Because of this, I am going to cut to the chase and say that at the prompting of a new, potential good friend, Josh Reich, I went to, and ate at… Zinburger.

And, much to my surprise, I liked it.

Feeling like a culinary Benedict Arnold, I have been wondering, how I could enjoy what I said I would hate, and then I finally realized… it looks different, but Zinburger is still Zin Bistro at its core.

If there was ever any problem with Zin Bistro, it was that people didn’t eat there. It is so easy for me to forget that when I think back on my times there, but it was never wildly popular.  There were the regulars, and we absolutely loved it, but for the public at large, it never quite worked.

It surprised us all, didn’t everyone realize what they were missing?

So, what did “they” do? Take the desserts for example… The Bars of Zin & the Strawberry Cheesecake? They are still there, but now they are milkshakes. And many of the flavor combinations are still available, but now on a bun and served with zucchini, sweet potato, or truffle fries. And the wine list, while streamlined and not quite as eclectically intimidating as it once was, is as solid as ever.

This place, which was so influential in helping me learn to pause, to savor and to enjoy is still there.

When is a Church like a Restaurant?

I have been a member of the Crossing Church in Tucson for the past five years. It is honestly where I finally learned what it means to to pause, to savor and to enjoy the marvelous greatness of God. There is something sweet and special about what God has formed and fashioned there, and for everyone who has been part of this congregation it has been absolutely life changing.

Now I hate to say this, but if there was ever any problem with the Crossing, it is that, for the public at large, it has never quite worked.  And like Zinburger, it always has surprised us all.

Doesn’t everyone realize what they’re missing?

It always amazes me how sweetly and providentially God works in our lives. Josh, who suggested we eat at Zinburger, has been meeting with me and the leadership at the Crossing as we have been talking about major change. And, with such a beautiful similarity, this change will look like we are closing the doors of the Crossing, and what we once knew, and loved, is being replaced by something new and different.

I actually wouldn’t be surprised if, for some of us, out of a deep love for what God has done through the Crossing, it is tempting to regard this change with: instant, unwavering rejection & loathing.

Take comfort. You see, it will look different, but everything that we have loved and cherished about the Crossing will be there. Take the mission for example… two years ago we said the Crossing exists:

To be a community of Christ-followers dedicated to
authentic worship, loving service and gospel centered teaching,
to glorify God, to see lives changed and make his gospel known
in northwest Tucson and beyond.

By God’s good grace, our mission and our goals are furthered massively through this change. Not only do we have the opportunity for so many people to grow and enjoy what we have loved about the Crossing, we will be so much better equipped to glorify God, to see lives changed and make his gospel know throughout the whole of Tucson.

I am so excited, knowing that God will continue to provide a place where we can continue to pause, to savor and to enjoy his marvelous greatness.

It is to that end that I continue to pray… as I also secretly hope that Josh might want to have another meeting at Zinburger.

  1. david johnson says:

    Mike, all I can say is….IT’S ABOUT TIME? 🙂

  2. With both you and Shasta writing about our beloved Zin Bistro, I can’t but feel like I’m lacking for not writing my own thoughts. The truth is that my heart is heavy one day and light the next. I want a guarentee that the bars of Zin and Strawberry cheesecake will for sure be turned into milkshakes… and I want to make what we have accessible to others… and I’d like an audible message from God about the future… and a pony and a pretty new dress 🙂

    • mgmstudious says:

      Well we can certainly go back for milkshakes 🙂 We might have to tweak a recipe or two, but something tells me things will turn out well.

      IAs I can’t imagine any use for them, if I come into possession of a pony and a pretty new dress, you can have them.

  3. Hannah says:

    I can understand that change. My church just recently underwent a name change because of the fact that the prior name “didn’t work”. “Old Dominion Baptist Church” spoke of old times that had died. Our pastors didn’t feel we were saying who we truly were under that name, and proposed a change last spring. It was taken with a lot of controversy. Some liked the idea, others loathed it. But last fall, it was brought up again, and more of the church started to see the validity of the plan. Thus we are now called Grace Life Community Church.
    We’re not tied down to a denomination, and our heart is in reaching out to the community. It was a good change, though the core of us still remains the same.
    It’s been about three months since the change and we’re still trying to get used to calling it Grace Life. The old name is slowly leaving it’s mark on the people as we are getting used to the fact that we’re Grace Life Community Church.
    It’s all good. 🙂
    I’m looking forward to hearing more of how your church grows!

  4. Jordan says:

    This post makes me sad and excited at the same time~ is that possible? I guess sad is not the right word… How about this: I will cherish the memories The Crossing has given me, and the change and growth I saw in my life with my relationship with Jesus during the time I was at The Crossing. It means so much, it really does.

    But: It is time for Tucson and the world to have that experience as well. An experience of joining together in community with people who are genuninely there to lift up one another, encourage one another and help each know Christ more intimately. I am so excited what the merger of Revolution and The Crossing are going to do! If it was financially possible and God’s Will, I would move back to Tucson to help out in anyway I could!

  5. […] There are some changes happening at my church. You can read about them from Pastor Mike by clicking here. […]

  6. jeremy friezenfor says:

    thanks for the poke in your blog! the time you speak of is though of in my memory still! what i look like today however, pales in comparison to then and for that i look forward to the change in you and the others you are leading into the next metamorphasis.

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