When is a cheeseburger not a cheeseburger?

There is a great little “hole-in-the-wall” type place in Conroe called Vernon’s Barbecue. It is just west of the loop on the west side of town. My wife and her sisters, who all work together up there, eat there all the time. John and Gail, the owners are great people (and so I wanted to give them this plug).

This post is not meant to be about the restaurant, but in a way it really is. The story is this, my brother-in-law also works for the family business there in Conroe and eats at Vernon’s regularly. A couple of years ago he needed to lose weight and so he began to eat differently. The staff at Vernon’s found out (maybe from his wife) and so when he would go in to order lunch he would order a cheeseburger but that’s not what he would get. He would order the cheeseburger but what came out of the kitchen was a grilled chicken salad. Everyone conspired to help him lose the weight he wanted to lose. It became such an ongoing joke that they eventually named an actual cheeseburger after my brother-in-law. You can go in today and order a “Kirk’s Cheeseburger” (and yes, you will get a cheeseburger – but Kirk won’t).

The great lesson I take away from that story is the lesson of how important it is for us to have friends that conspire for our good, and how significant it is for us to be such a friend to others. The reality of losing weight, giving up bad habits, and living a God-directed, righteous, spirit-filled life is that it can’t be done alone. We need friends who will push us to go in the right directions. We need people who love us and are willing to look out for our best interest. When we miss our Bible study group, we need people to call us and maybe even come by the next week and pick us up. When we’re hoping to get our finances in order, we need friends who will call us out when we seem to spending extravagantly.

Of course, this needs to be a mutual agreement. If you start bugging your friends about how they’re living their life and they didn’t ask you to do so, well, they may not be too friendly in the future. I got such permission from someone the other day. They gave me permission to put my right foot on their left buttock in order to help them become the leader they want to be.

Sometimes we need a good swift kick to help us move down the road toward our chosen destination. Sometimes a cheeseburger is not a cheeseburger because someone we love is helping us reach our goals.

Do you have a friend like this? Are you a friend like this? Could you be?

Holy high-five to you,


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