The Taste of Our Lives
By Lane Johnson
“Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”
1 Corinthians 9; 19-22 The Message Bible
As I write this, Sandy is preparing another batch of “friendship bread”. This particular recipe produces a very tasty cake type treat that is excellent with butter and coffee. I have begun to dislike “friendship bread”, however, not for its taste but because its recipe requires that you end up with four “starter” packs that are supposed to be passed on to your friends. These friends then will, in turn, end up with four starter packs themselves each time they make the bread. This then requires them to find four new unaware friends to which they can then unload the starters on who will soon be looking for other virgin friends who have not previously been initiated into this baking pyramid, multi-level, pass it on nightmare.
Pretty soon eye contact between individuals is avoided for fear of having to admit that they ended up throwing the starters away instead of passing them on. I think there is some kind of “breaking the chain” baker’s curse that follows.
Anyway when carried to its logical conclusion, you end up floating in loaves and desperately looking for new prospects to initiate into the starter loaf cult. I am reminded of the “Tribbles” that ultimately overran the starship Enterprise in its first season.
The problem is those four starters, they exercise incredible obligation on our family. In order to avoid “wasting” them we pursue anyone that might be receptive to accepting them into their home and lives; no one is exempt from being asked to accept a starter.
While people eventually dislike being hounded to accept a starter I have discovered that everyone enjoys the finished product. I wonder, if instead of promulgating recipes, we just passed out finished loaves, would it produce a desire in others to then know more about the recipe? Hmmm…..
The obvious message to be drawn from this situation is to be driven to share the “Good News” instead of some recipe. And the ultimate conclusion is that people desire the taste of our lives more than the formula that made us who we are.
I am praying that God will teach us how to simply taste good with butter and coffee, so that somehow we can produce hunger in someone to know more about what made us who we are.