A Vacation from the Cooking Blog and why God is Good

Bear with me…This is a learning process going on in the blog today.
We’re skipping cooking today and doing a little soul searching.

God is good.  Of course, we don’t always see it.  Certainly we don’t understand it.  Sometimes we fight it mightily. Or don’t believe it.  But if we live a faithful life, we learn the truth of the matter.  Our world isn’t perfect because of it, nor is the world of others.  But life is strong within it and contains joy, as well as a larger possibility for healthy relationship with others and ourselves.

If we are faithful, I’ve found, our eyes are opened to the pathway(s) we’re meant to be on.  The one that creates a healthy us.   There are lots of songs about opening our eyes (Lord,  I want to see Jesus… I once was blind, but now….Open the Eyes of my Heart–and so on) and I’d like to think there are just as many about opening our hearts.  This isn’t about taking a spiritual gifts inventory (a worthwhile process), but it might be about our innate (or learned) abilities or desires and how our hearts beat regularly when we’re accomplishing those that quench our soul’s thirst for…not success, not happiness, but for the feeling of, “This is what I’m meant to do.”  This is what makes me feel like I breathe better.  Like I’m comforted, open, available, closer, in a good spot, centered, able, making a difference.  This is what’s needed.  This is what’s meant by “come round right.”

And so even if it’s scrubbing the porch, we need to do it.  Can we scrub porches for God?  Definitely.  We are meant to be closer; we are called to come in contact.  If we do it scrubbing a porch, then it’s fine and who doesn’t like a clean porch?  How do we know?  Ah, the proof is in the pudding.  We know by this:  if we don’t scrub the porch, we’re simply not feeling good about ourselves.  We’re spending all our time wishing we could scrub the porch.   At some point, it’s necessary to give in to what our hearts call  us to do.  When on our lips is, “I simply can’t do anything else; I’m not happy if I don’t _______.”  Happiness might be over-rated, and perhaps it’s not exactly the right word, but it’ll do for part of the equation.

My friends Ellen and Kim call it one’s “passion.”  There comes a time in life when you simply must pursue it or else decide to enter and live decades of life with a decided frown on your face and lump in your throat.  Or so I thought.

In the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to dream about those passions…because I’m blessed with friends (and acquaintances) who’ve pointed them out to me.  I really can be a dreamer at times, but the more I considered them–this whole notion, the more I realized that I have followed them, these loves–these have-tos–these passions–these “I HAVE TO DO THIS” things my entire life.  They are the framework of my journey; they are the cornerstones of my life.  And because they serve God and also serve the needs of my soul, I know I am blessed and I definitely know God is good.

I share this because as a Christian who is fast becoming “older,” I know I’m meant to pass on what I’ve learned on the journey.  What my pilgrim steps were.  What songs I sang.  What songs my heart heard when God spoke in a way I could hear. Or how I learned to listen.  (How I’m learning to listen.)

I don’t suppose it terribly matters what the list of passions were.  I don’t suppose I’d get them right the first time, but I’m looking at naming them.  Past, present and future.  My calls.   The things I am convinced God wanted from me or wanted me to do.  How they’re framed by the lattice of what it means to live a Christian life.   Measured by its tenets and boundaries.   How they sometimes meant giving up or giving away instead of insisting on having things my way.  How individual freedom and the acknowledgement of my own worth played a part. About throwing old wounds over the falls.  Of how they taught me to wait.  How I gradually came to be accepting and loving of those who didn’t share my faith..or the “passions.”  Perhaps there’s a better word.  Certainly the faithful word is definitely, “call.”

I’m thinking I can frame my calls somewhat with visuals:

This is me with my big brother.  A long time ago.

I thought, when I went to the photo files, I’d be coming up with pictures of food I’d written about, me directing choirs, reading books, playing the piano etc.  Me, doing things.  And there’s some of that.  But, really:  Nope.  Hmmm.  Instead,  what I actually found were the people— who or whose love made me passionate, who inspired me.  Some of them are people in my family I’ve never met.  Some are students who shaped my life and heart.  Some of them are my own children. Others are the loves of my life.  Many more aren’t there in photos…not in my computer anyway.

I have some cocktail napkins that say, ” A good cook knows that it’s not what is on the table that matters, it’s what (sic) is in the chairs.”

And isn’t that just it? 

That’s how we know God is good.

Sing a new song,