Do you have any strong memories tied to a certain taste? I hate drinking Barq’s Root Beer. Do you remember that old school silver can with the cursive script? I cannot stand to drink it. If I was stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean and the only option was dehydration or drinking Barq’s Root Beer, well, I’d be meeting our Lord and Savior a little quicker—I just wouldn’t drink it.
This is weird because growing up at church when I was really young, I used to always drink Barq’s Root Beer. I remember digging through my mom’s purse to try and collect enough change to get that silver can from the vending machine whenever I was left alone up at church. What changed?
In elementary school I got really sick; I don’t remember what it was, and it wasn’t life threatening, but at the age, I felt like the end was near. I had to take this medicine in liquid form, and it was the worst kind of flavor that I still to do this day remember vividly. Can you guess what that flavor was? Root beer. Yuck.
There’s a cruel irony in life that it seems like the worse medicine tastes, the better it is for you. If it had been up to me, I truly don’t think I’d have taken the medicine when I was sick. Why should I drink something that tasted bad while I was already sick? To a child, that makes zero sense.
Sometimes we are still like that today. We often know what is good for us, what would make us healthier. Whether it’s exercise, taking medicine, or eating healthier, we don’t want to made healthy. Our faith life is like that often. We don’t want to make hard choices, instead choose the road of least resistance. In systems theory, we talk about how systems avoid change at any cost, even if what is popular is not always good for us.
God sent Jesus to us in order to show us different ways to live, different ways to connect with God and neighbor. Sometimes that means change, means swallowing some root beer flavored medicine. Join us on Sunday as we examine what it means to make the hard decisions, that even though they may taste bad, they’ll help us follow God a little bit closer.
Photo by Christopher Cacho via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.