I am a huge fan of the show “Chopped,” a three-round contest on the Food Network where four chefs compete to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert out of four mystery ingredients. The ingredients may be wild boar, oats, maple syrup and cake mix. The purpose of the contest is to use what you have, no matter how mismatched, unexpected or unsavory and create something great out of it.
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving was a week ago. Like many of you I had so much left over that I have not had to cook anything substantial this week. All I needed to do was use what I had. In using what I had, not only did I save time, money, effort and energy, but I also found myself being creative in how I used (and reused) the ingredients. I changed the main protein and the side items into tasty configurations that kept me satisfied without leaving me feeling overstuffed. Even after reheating and repurposing there was still more food left and more room for creativity.
I began to think about life and how many times the things that we have to deal with are thrown at us unexpectedly and we have to make the most of it. You and I must deal with the reality that many times life does not hand us the ingredients that are most conducive to a “gourmet” life experience.
This time of year presents a unique challenge in that many people are struggling with the events of the entire year. They are still finding themselves reeling from a job loss, the death of a loved one or the reality that marriage and parenting was more challenging than they ever imagined. As you look over the remainder of the year, focus on what you have and what you are called to do with what you have left.
Life is extremely short. Without excuses or regrets, you and I have a decision to make; that decision must be to use what we have to get to the place that God intended for us. Harriet Tubman used her feet, George Washington Carver used the peanut, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) used the power of collective organization and limited resources to do history changing things.
What talent, gift or ability do you possess that you could use for the betterment of your home, your community or world? You and I have the capacity to rise and do great things in much the same way. This week, refuse to get lost in the challenges and push in all new ways to successfully cross the 2012 finish line, using what you have!