You know those times with friends where you laugh ‘til you snort? I had two of them last week. The first visit ended with me posing in front of a camera – an experience that dredges up all sorts of issues we may delve into in coming weeks. (If I’m brave enough.)
The second visit was with a homeschooling Momma who’s also a woman of business. Shortly after getting there, my friend introduces me to her amazing assortment of bags. She has bags for everything.
Pretty purses for those nights out on the town we dream about and need accessories for just in case they actually happen.
Functional bags for sorting outdoor gear, laundry, homework, and groceries.
There are small bags to fit within larger bags, totes to carry the larger bags, and bins to slip the totes into.
And, will wonders never cease, there was a shoulder bag large enough to hold a preschool age child.
My head spun from the myriad of organizational possibilities. I began to envision a purposeful laundry room. An organized mud room. A functional space behind the back seat of my minivan. I’ll admit it; my mind wandered as I entered an imaginary world where chaos was banished.
I was quickly snapped back to the conversation with an introduction to the next bag. It was an insulated zippered beauty with a shoulder strap. My friend explained with no small amount of reverence that it could actually carry your crock-pot.
The crock-pot, an appliance of long, slow simmered flavours had just become portable. We quickly descended into the nonsensical and hilarious.
No longer would soccer moms be pulling out cheese strings and crackers for sideline snacks. Certainly not! Those chilly nights on the field would be warmed with a home cooked, slow-simmered chili.
Rushing out for a quick coffee with some friends? Why settle for coffee shop quality fare when you can carry a pot roast in a bag slung over your shoulder?
For the working woman, your power purse with packaged and processed protein punches to get you through the work day has been replaced with a new kind of power bag. You’ll be the envy of the office as you ladle out a post-meeting stew.
Why stop there? Sling the bag that can hold a child over one shoulder and the slow-cooker bag over the other, and run your errands never having to worry about hearing the ‘I’m hungry’ whine.
We were moving from howls to snorts, before I became aware of the napping baby and the husband who was home sick. My profoundest apologies.
But something about the image my friend and I had found so funny, kept simmering away in the back of my brain. (No, I’m not about to invent some battery operated crock-pot fanny pack.)
We are a society far more used to microwave cooking and drive thrus than slow cooking crock pots. And I’m not just talking about food.
How many of us practise a brand of microwave faith? You know, where you read the power devotion for the day to say you did it, and move on expecting it will sustain you. We grab onto a favorite verse or a promise like it’s a protein bar, applying it to our lives all quick, neat and tidy thinking far more about ourselves than the God it’s meant to reveal.
There’s nothing wrong with snacking, but if all you do is snack and you never eat a hearty meal, you’re missing out on valuable nourishment and nutrition.
What if we stopped relying on easy access packaged snacks, and supplemented them with heartier fare?
What if we worked through the Bible slowly, with the intention of long term nourishment rather than hurried nibbles to tide us over? What if we let a verse or a passage simmer as the flavours sink deep?
I suspect our spiritual health would improve.
We may live in a microwave world, but we have a slow-cooker faith.
I’ll leave you with something that’s been simmering in my heart the last couple of weeks. (I don’t know that it has a perfect fit, but it’s what I keep mulling.) It’s from the book of Ezra. The people of Israel had been taken into captivity because they had forgotten their special place as a people set aside to show God to the world.
In the book of Ezra, they were finally returning home. Some of them anyway.
Many choose to stay in the land of captivity because it had become home to them. The returning ones were reminded and warned not to become like the people around them. They were to live among the people, but to be different from them. To stand out.
…and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land . . .