Thursday, February 18, 2010
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Back in the day, when my oldest son, Key, was four, his preschool class wrote a cookbook of all of their most favorite dinners. I know I have not thrown that cookbook away, but I can't put my fingers on it at this particular moment. However, I still remember many of the recipes. For instance, one called for a can of tomato soup to be opened, poured in a pot, and then boiled for two hours. Another needed approximately one jar of peanut butter to be wiped all over a piece of bread. Then squeeze a jar of jelly on top of another piece of bread and squish the two pieces of bread together. Lovely and delicious, I am sure. The funniest one of all happened to be Key's. I even heard other mothers in the hallway, laughing and saying, "Did you read the one about the salmon?" Because on one level it is funny all on it's own that my child's favorite dinner ever at the age of four was baked salmon and rice. He also liked sushi. Go figure. And, so, for the cookbook, he explained in detail how to make baked salmon.
1. Get the salmon and wrap it with lots of string.
2. Sprinkle black dots all over it.
3. Put it in a pan and cook it until it is burned.
4. Turn it into chicken.
5. Take off all the strings and eat it.
See? That's my secret recipe for salmon. Now you know. I have magical skills.
I was making my grocery list this morning, and I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner. I have all these yummy sounding recipes I want to try, but I was only shopping today for one week. I felt overwhelmed with trying to plan out our family menu. And then I thought of Key's recipe, and I thought of the verse above, and I chuckled to myself. I am guessing that the verse probably is helpful to Christians that know it and are battling a chronic illness or tragedy in their lives. But today, it was comforting to me. When big things happen, we as Christians are usually good at thinking about Jesus, whether it be out of blame, guilt, or comfort. But what about in the little daily things? "In this world you will have trouble." Yes, like big stuff. But also stuff like overwhelming grocery lists. And kids that drank too much apple juice and have to pee seven times while at the grocery store. Yes, all that, all in the same trip. That kind of trouble too. Maybe it would be better if I labeled minor woes as inconveniences. But still. THOSE kinds of minor inconveniences I try to do on my own. But why? It suddenly occurred to me that I am not actually alone, so why do I act like I am? Jesus says, "Take heart! I have conquered the world." So, for today at least, I tried, a bit in vain, to remember, as I was fumbling through the grocery store with too many recipes and no list, that Jesus had dinner under control. He is with me in the big stuff, yes, but also in the little day to day errands as well. I like knowing I am not alone, and that when I am talking to myself in the car and looking like a crazy lady driving down the street, I am really talking to Him. And the whole vision of my day just makes me smile. So, there you go, "In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world," says Jesus. Therefore, tonight - with a little help - I will turn a little piece of salmon into a little piece of chicken. And now you know the whole secret recipe.