Friday, November 1, 2013

Pickles and Coconut Cake

Every once in awhile I like some pickles, sweet or dill. Eaten all by themselves they give you a kind of taste zing that wakes you up. I like them with meat, too, or in relish on a hot dog.

When I was a little kid we didn't make much of birthdays. Forget parties. You would get a store bought cake at the end of supper with the usual candles. That's it.

So when a dear aunt made me a coconut cake for my birthday when I was visiting it was a big deal. Somehow while bustling about as she prepared a meal, she spilled pickle juice on my coconut cake. She thought I wouldn't mind. We could eat it anyway. So in a very half-hearted manner we did. It was the only time in my life I ever ate a cake I didn't like.

I still like whatever you set in front of me. I try to be eclectic in my eating habits. But maybe based on this ancient memory, I don't like food all mixed up. No pickles on my cake please.

I read all kinds of stuff, some of it quite old. I mean who cares about Narcissus looking at his reflection all day until he turned into a flower of that name? Sometimes legends can be so charming and so basic I find them hard to resist. But there are times when I think, "Old boy, why not read Malachi?" I know it will be so good to read the pure word of God, unmixed with something else.

But as I study or just read casually I see the two things have been mixed. I know scaring people is good for controlling them. Like a training collar on a dog, hurt him and he will obey. Doesn't work on me though. I crave reason and divine revelation. I get it too, by looking at what the Word really says. Taking out the myths and crowd control devices leaves you with the unmixed meaning of God's Word.

You don't need to be a scholar. I'm sure not one. But keep the pickles away from the cake--the cake, how sweet it is!

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