I have trouble explaining grits to British friends, so I thought I would share a post from Richard Mouw at the Faith and Leadership Blog. He relates a couple of delightful stories about the theological significance of that great staple of Southern Cooking (for my British readers, maybe April and I will cook you some Shrimp and Grits if you come for dinner). [N.B. A Waffle House is something you simply have to experience – the sweet middle age waitresses you call you ‘honey’ and eating meat with purple ink.]
A guy goes into a Waffle House and orders a waffle accompanied by scrambled eggs and bacon. When the waitress brought the order to his table, there were also grits on the plate. “Miss, I did not order grits,” the man said. “Honey,” she replied, “you don’t order grits, it just comes!”
The theological lessons in those stories are clear to a couple of Calvinist theologians. It’s all about grace. There is nothing wrong about explicitly asking for grits when you order your food at a Waffle House. But whether you ask or not, “it just comes.” God’s grace “just comes” to us — not because we order it, but because we can count on grace as a sign of the faithfulness of the provider.
I think as Wesleyans we, too, can confirm that grace keeps coming, whether we ask for it or not. Prevenient grace begins coming to us from the start, always pulling and drawing us into the life of God. Like grits, we can leave grace on the plate or we can pick up a fork to taste and see.