To get the whole enchilada

Published 12:05 pm Saturday, June 29, 2019

By Rev. Brad McKenzie

There is something that I love and frequently talk about.  That thing is tacos.

“What do you want for dinner?  Tacos!”

“What is something that makes people smile?  Tacos!”

“How do you celebrate dads on Father’s Day?  Tacos!”

“What can bring joy to people?  Tacos!”

Tacos are something that can bring people together and can be just as unique the person making them.  Thinking of tacos makes me think of a phrase that people use from time to time: The Whole Enchilada.

As strange as this may be, the whole enchilada has had me thinking about idioms that we tend to use, phrases that are common, but often we don’t really consider the meaning.

With this idiom I ask this question, “why would a person not want the whole enchilada?”

The background and history is vague and not necessarily that interesting, but for this article, let’s work from the meaning of wanting an event, situation or experience to be complete or as full as possible.  To have it all, leaving nothing out.

My personal philosophy is to always eat the whole enchilada, and of course the whole taco.

However, there is a reality in life where most people never seem to get to the whole enchilada.  That is a sad truth, but a truth that does not always have to be that way.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV 2011).

Now if you consider the entirety of the scriptures, having life to the full does not mean having everything you want just like you want it.  Having life and having it to the full is more about living in the character and values of the kingdom of God, and I propose most importantly to having the fullness of joy in life, no matter what may happen.

The whole enchilada in life is having the joy of Christ.

In God’s kingdom, having the fullness of the joy of Christ does not come without giving up something.  It comes when we surrender ourselves, our preferences and our own plans for the plan and purpose that God has for each and every one of us.

The Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians says to, “rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

Getting the fullness of life in the fullness of joy comes in practice.  Choosing joy over and over and over again, no matter what.  This joy is not a human joy, but it is joy in the Lord, the victor over the grave and the one who loves us no matter what.  You can choose joy and you can choose to have all of the joy available in this life.

So, for the rest of 2019, I encourage you to choose the whole enchilada, don’t leave any on your plate.  Let joy be in you and share it with others.

Even in a world partial or limited joy, when we choose the joy of the Lord, we find a satisfaction that not even the whole enchilada can provide!  That Is Good News!

P.S. Taco Tuesday at Dairy Queen is a great way to kick start joy back into your life!


Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Frist Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.