Saturday, May 19, 2018

Could Use a Little Salt

I remember growing up with church pot lucks.  Some people like to refer to them as “pot bless.” However, from my experiences, not all pot bless selections are a “blessing.” It became my practice to keep my eye on the entry way door as people brought Crockpot after Crockpot of hot dishes, pans of bars, baskets of rolls and the like.  If you paid enough attention to the conversations before and after church, you could begin to glean the knowledge of who was diabetic, who had high blood pressure and or who was on some new “non-sugar, non-fat, carrots only diet.” I would watch to see who brought what tray and or what Crockpot…then I would know whether or not to avoid the “blessed” item.  It seemed that cookies without sugar were not as good as cookies with sugar.  Bars without butter were not as good as bars made with, say, a pound of butter, and hot dishes without salt tended to be a bland combination of noodle and tomato.  All this to say…there was indeed some “luck” involved when it came to the flavor of your plate.
I think it was roughly third grade when a peanut farmer came to our school. He shared with us the intricacies of the peanut.  We had been studying about George Washington Carver.  This farmer brought enough peanuts to shake a stick at.  Note: This event took place before the age of peanut allergies in schools…and if someone did happen have a peanut allergy…it may have been considered a serious “pot un-luck."
I was incredibly excited! I loved peanuts! In fact, there had been a few sightings of peanuts within our   house.  It seemed that in our home, peanuts were such a treasured possession that they would remain secreted away only to be eaten by Dad when all of the children were in bed and ice cream was being served.  Totally not fair! I have done my best to keep this tradition alive and well.
This peanut farmer brought pounds upon pounds of peanuts, still in the shell, just ready to be cracked into.  At the end of his talk…(which I remember very little…except that Mr. G.W. Carver was not the same man that crossed the Delaware, Christmas day in 1776)…he allowed us to take as many peanuts home as we wanted.  It may have been upwards to 10lbs of peanuts that I brought home in a brown paper grocery bag that day.
My parents were going to be so proud…so happy…they may have considered doubling my $0 allowance…or maybe I could even have some! When I arrived home and showed the bag to my mom she said, “Wow! That’s a lot of peanuts! What are we going to do with all those peanuts!?”
“Ummm, eat them! Hello!”
I cracked open the first one and ate it… “Huh…tastes a little different.”
My mother tried one. “These peanuts are raw!”
“Aren’t all peanuts raw?”
“No, usually they are roasted.”
I ate another one, “Could use a little salt.”
In John 17:6-19, Jesus continues His prayer to the Father, now praying for His disciples.  His prayer parallels an idea that he had shared with them at the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5.  Jesus’ prayer, in a sense, is that they could “salt” the earth…that they would bring flavor to the world…that people could taste and see that Jesus is good.  Salt in its very nature, is used to preserve and bring flavor to life.  Does your life burst with flavor or does your life leave a bitter taste? Jesus is calling us to bring the flavor of Christ to life.

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