And Now for Something Completely Different…


Two of my daughters recently had a culture fair at their school. There were booths with information on many different countries around the world, crafts, activities, and the chance to write letters to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. It was an interesting evening. Then, we made our way to the school cafeteria where there was a mixture of smells emanating. We each received a plate with tiny portions of various dishes, fruits, and treats from various cultures, and that was truly the most interesting part of the evening.

Thankfully, we have long been fans of the show Bizarre Foods, I have tried to instill an acceptance of different foods and variation in my children, and none of us is put off by strange textures. There were a couple different slippery Asian noodle dishes, a fruit like a berry with a husk that we had to peel, sour (pickled?) gooseberries, tubes of jelly, and tamales, among other things on our plates. Naturally, some of the foods were better received than others. The whole experience broadened our palates and our minds, and gave us some new tastes, textures, and experiences. The next time we are presented by something unfamiliar, I hope we rise to the challenge.

If only things worked that way so easily with life’s little sample plate. We are exposed to change more times than we are often  comfortable with as we move through the many courses and snacks of life. Some times, we’d love to be able to send our meal back to the kitchen. Sometimes, we are left with a taste of something we would gladly have consumed without end. Life, however, is full of strange dishes and we are given an opportunity to sample them all. It is to our benefit that we take in as many of these life experiences as possible in order to feel satisfied and enjoy a full existence. It is not uncommon for many people to be so stuck in their burger and fries ways that they miss out on something truly spectacular.

God, you see, has many menu items laid out for us in the Grand Buffet. Some things we will like more than others; however, the less than exciting oatmeal is just as good for us as the plate of fruit, or steak, or chocolate. We DO all need a little chocolate from time to time during the Feast of Life, after all. Don’t be afraid of new things. Every good and necessary change you are looking toward in your life will require some difference in the way you act and think, even the way you live, or where you live. As the French say, Vive le difference!”

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19

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