Sunday, October 11, 2009

30 Days of Tasting

Day 25

Perhaps the most basic seasoning used in cooking is salt. And it’s this commonplace, unglamorous flavor that caught my attention today, Day 25 of 30 Days of Tasting. I noticed it this morning when I was eating breakfast—bacon and eggs. Without contemplation, as I finished the last few bites of my egg and toast, I kept a small piece of bacon so that it was the finale of my breakfast masterpiece. I wanted to savor the taste of bacon. I wanted it to be the last taste left in my mouth.

Bacon has such enormous flavor—largely from the salt used to cure it. According to Wikipedia, “Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured in a brine or in a dry packing, both consisting largely of salt.” Salt is the most ordinary and plentiful condiment that when added to food, draws out the natural flavor and transforms it into a satisfying taste.

That immediately makes me think of what Jesus called those who follow him--"the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13) He envisioned us as people with such robust flavor that we make other people’s mouth water. They want what we have. That’s because we are full of unique, dramatic flavor. We not only have character—we are characters! When we live from our true self in Christ, we become people with distinctive, winsome personalities who add spice to the world.

Jesus warned us not to become bland—to lose our flavor. One of the sure ways that will happen is if we live from a religious false self. That’s when, through arduous self-discipline, we simply conform our outward behavior to certain standards of conduct. Churches are filled with stunted, stilted individuals who have never tapped into the full-bodied flavor of their true selves in Christ.

I believe that the most powerful way we share Jesus with others isn’t through some slick tract, gimmick or shtick. It’s being the salt of the earth through being ourselves!

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