You are a spice. Without you, the world is bland.
As a high schooler, I made a two layer cake to surprise my family. The layers were fantastic. They looked perfect. As I mixed the icing, it was very gritty. Knowing something was amiss, I called my Mamaw for advice. Turns out, I used regular sugar when I should have used powdered sugar. My Mamaw, trying to help her a grandson do his best without negating his effort thus far, suggested I add powdered sugar and maybe it would smooth out.
The icing did not smooth out but it did become even more sweet. Bless my family for each trying a piece of that cake before we tossed it into the trash.
When the wrong ingredients are in the play, the result is rarely pleasing to the palate.
From these two thoughts, I reflect the importance of your presence / participation in the right place at the right time so that your world is not bland. You were meant for more than bland relationships.
How do we know the right place and right time to make relationships profound?
Trial and Error is a time tested method of learning most anything. Trial and error is an effective teacher said the man with two fingers, both burnt. There are more effective path ways to learning place and time.
Try the rule of three … know your God, know your neighbor, know yourself.
At home, if you know God’s desire for your family (neighbor) and you know your family and you know yourself … then how beautiful a parent / spouse / child will you be do you imagine? God created you and your family (neighbor). God said that what God created is good. God made eternal life possible for you and your family (neighbor). God wants you to experience life as flavor that dances on your tongue and satisfies your deepest midnight cravings.
Knowing the three (God, neighbor, self) is most possible for those who participate in a church community (especially worship), read the Bible on their own and in study groups, engage in mission ministries to serve the needy, pray daily to God, and give sacrificially of their time, talent, and treasure. This is not rocket science but a lifestyle proven rewarding by countless of our ancestors of faith.
Knowing is 49% of success. Knowing your God, your neighbor, yourself is all of 49% of a successful, meaningful life. Jesus said it best what was necessary for the other 51%.
Take up your cross and follow Jesus … that is 51% of a successful, meaningful life. Spice adds flavor to the dish only when present … mixed, boiled, simmered, marinated, baked into the dish. At some point, we need to be present to others. We need to be incarnate to our community.
Those who savor the spiritual essence of their faith community, worship, service, study, etc… they find life to be more colorful, flavorful, meaningful, amazing, awe-inspiring. God created you to be spice. God created you to be an amazing flavor in the right dish at the right time. God trusts you to show up, be present, when called.
Is your world bland? Is your world too sweet like the cake I baked?
The remedy is first to know God, neighbor, self. Then be present and participating.
- What relationship did you previously enjoy that has become stale? Are you thinking of an individual, team, group, etc? What is the name(s) that come to mind?
2. Assuming you want more than that blandness, be mindful of that relationship over the rest of this week. Roast that relationship over the burner of knowing (God, neighbor, self) as you would peppers or garlic before adding to the sauce.
3. By mid-week, pray about the presentation and consumption of the relationship. Ask God how you can serve up yourself into the relationship so that it arrives at the table as a master piece akin to God’s desire.
4. By week’s end, do something. A word, touch, hug, hold door open, mail a card, invite to church, shared smile, etc. This thing you do is you being the spice God intended you to be to make this dish (relationship) gourmet.
[For inspiring this reflection, my thanks to Libby the best front of the house manager and my friend; and to “Its a Wonderful Life” the movie.]