Growing up, I frequently helped my mom make spaghetti for our family. The meal was served piping hot, so to finish off the masterpiece, Mom would retrieve the final ingredient from the refrigerator—cottage cheese. One big scoop went right on top.
My brothers and I would mix it all together and, within a few seconds, our stomachs would rumble with delight.
I still pair cottage cheese with my spaghetti. It’s normal to me. But through the years the reactions I have received from guests, roommates and friends have shown me this practice is not typical. “Gross,” some say. “Why would you do that?”
My rebuttal is often ignored until I remind them that it’s practically lasagna.
That gets them every time. The look of disgust melts away, and I give them a few moments to mentally dissect a serving of lasagna in their mind’s eye.
Lasagna is a tasty display of noodles, sauce and cheese all served in an organized manner, layered one on top of the other.
Spaghetti is a hodgepodge version of the same delicious idea. Noodles, sauce and cheese served, yet all tangled up on a plate.
Sometimes I dream of a lasagna-layered life—orderly and flavorful, but served in a predictable manner. Yet most of the time God provides me with spaghetti, requiring me to trust Him and not the routine.
Life can often feel like spaghetti. Sometimes I stress out. The proportions feel all out of whack. And God is adding unusual ingredients to the mix that baffle me.
Gross. Why would you do that? I say in my heart.
I am left with a choice: Feast on the spaghetti before me, even though I don’t understand why some of the ingredients are necessary, or whine a bit more. I could push myself away from the table and protest, saying this is not the meal I wanted.
Instead, I am trying to acknowledge that the meal is the same. God knows what is best for me. It might not look like what I had in mind, but the ingredients are there—just in a different order and proportion. I can trust Him and choose to enjoy what is before me.
If you’re not growing, it might be because you’re not helping someone else.
We have been released from slavery yet, day after day, many of us remain slaves to ourselves, not knowing how to live freely.
I don’t mind helping other people through hard situations, but letting them help me is hard.
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