It’s a sunny day in Chicago. It’s a good send-off to spring break. My parents just dropped me off with a piece of yellow birthday cake with strawberry white chocolate frosting, Janelle (Jonathan’s newer and nicer counterpart… aka the guitar I got for Christmas and finally get to have at school. You’ll meet her later), a big suitcase with clothes that beckon spring in it, a bag that my mom has said is my Easter basket, and some groceries to repopulate my fridge.
I was sad to see them drive off in the little, blue car, but I’ll see them again in 7 weeks. If the first half of the semester was any example, that will fly by.
On another note, I watched a UFC fight last night. Well, not really. I mean, it was on a big screen nearby the hot tub where I was soaking with my mom, so I saw part of it. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their life getting beaten to a pulp/beating other people to a pulp, but that’s what those guys do.
I bet you never thought we’d be talking about UFC on my blog. Just keeping things interesting, folks. Ready for an even bigger shocker? Sometimes, I feel like I’m a sub-par UFC fighter. The type that go out for a fight, gets a couple good punches in, and it all goes downhill from there. Sometimes I feel like I battle Life, and Life beats me to a pulp.
Well, not quite to a pulp. Life just gives us all some bruises sometimes. I’m sure you get that. (They make for good conversation) My pastor mentioned this verse this morning: “ We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)
I love thinking that God can be glorified in my successes, but it’s even more remarkable that He can be revealed to other people through the times when I’m pressed down or perplexed. Naturally, I thought of all the great foods that you have to press in order to make them good. You’ve got to knead bread dough, dig your knuckles in really deep. You mash potatoes. It’s a good thing that they’re inanimate.
You beat cookie dough. You boil pasta.
Goodness, cooking is violent. But the end product can be beautiful if the process is done by someone who knows what they’re doing. And it can give real joy to people, both in the process and in the product. (I’m not equating a good piece of cake with the joy of knowing Jesus. That’s on a whole nuther level.)
Jesus is a good chef. (chef, shepherd, just about the same thing)
That, dear friends, gives hope.