If I have ever found the perfect example of what is commonly called “a hole in the wall diner,” I found it last week in Ruckersville, Virginia.
I am blessed to be asked to preach a great many Christian youth camps each summer, and last week I was at the amazing Camp Rapidan in Rochelle, Virginia, preaching at the camp put on by Merryman Family Ministries. At lunchtime, one of those days, I went into town to get some supplies. I also pulled into the Wendy’s, but finding their dining room still closed, I looked for another option. And that is when I saw a small sign for Rylie’s Diner with an arrow pointing the way behind the Wendy’s, down the hill, and behind another building.
My curiosity was instantly piqued; that is exactly the kind of thing I look for when I travel.
I followed the sign and came around to a basement-level set of glass doors with the Rylie’s Diner sign hanging over the green awning. I got out of the truck and started to make my way inside, and then smiled as I read the sign on the door that said, “Guns are welcome on premises. Please keep all weapons holstered unless a need arises. In such a case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”
I know that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is my cup of tea, with ice all the way to the rim of the huge Mason Jar glass everyone drinks out of at Rylie’s.
The place was packed, and the waitress that day, whose name I believe was Ashley, greeted most everyone by name. She literally ran from table to table and from kitchen to table. The food, which for me was grilled chicken, cabbage, and pintos, was fantastic and plenty of it.
I came back two days later with some friends, and it was just as good the second time around.
I rather suspect that I am not the only person who really enjoys finding mom-and-pop, hole-in-the-wall places to eat. If you want to fill me in on your favorites I would love to hear of them; as much as I travel there is a good chance I will be able to try out a good many of them.
But, of course, everything in life ends up making me think of things greater and higher, and this is no exception.
I have dozens of Bibles in my office and at home, and I now have joined the digital age and even have the Bible on my phone, tablet, and computer. Everyone reading this likely also has multiple Bibles. But for all of the Bibles people have, my experience with people tells me that, when they read them at all, they generally confine themselves to the Wendy’s, Golden Corrals, and Chick-fil-As of Scripture. By that I mean that people seem only to know or read a few familiar passages again and again: a few of the familiar Psalms, the four gospels, maybe even Romans or Revelation if they are feeling particularly adventurous. But having read the Bible through from cover to cover more than fifty times, I can tell you that some of the most amazing treasures are to be found in the out-of-the-way, “hole-in-the-wall” portions of Scripture.
Let’s do the rest of the column this way; let me give you some treasures from out-of-the-way places, and you see if you can find them. The first five people to email me all of the correct answers will receive a free copy of my latest devotional book, DO Drops, Volume Five.
So here goes.
Men did most of the building in ancient times. But one particular scrappy girl built three entire cities, and one of them ended up named after her. Who was she, and where do we find her account?
A man learned a good long lesson from his mother, wrote down her words, and it became an entire chapter of Scripture. What chapter?
One of the greatest Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah was not written by a believer, not even by a Jew, but by one of the most wicked men in all of the Bible. But his words became so famous that it is almost certain the wise men themselves later were guided by them to find the Christ child. Who was that wicked man, and what famous verse did we get from his words?
At least four different Scriptures picture Jesus as sitting at the right hand of God the Father. But one passage shows him standing at the right hand of God. What special occasion caused him to stand, and where do we find it?
Racial strife has always been an issue in this world filled with sinful men. In the time of Christ and the apostles, the animus was mainly Jew versus Gentile. But Paul taught that Christ broke down something between the Jews and Gentiles. What did he break down, and where do we find those words from Paul?
Enjoy yourself searching these things out in the Word of God. And when you think of eating out this week, why don’t you intentionally frequent one of those wonderful hole-in-the-wall places in your own area? There are always treasures to be found in out-of-the-way places.