Thursday, May 01, 2014

Biweekly Bits #7: Life Lessons from Salmonburgers

After writing 26 bits, I realized that there is so much I could elaborate on with each of my bits. So I decided to turn them into a biweekly (i.e. fortnightly) series, for the next year.

Sometimes, your family will eat all the salmonburgers. Several years ago, I made salmonburgers for my family. Salmonburgers are pretty much what they sound like, burgers made from salmon. They are hand-made, homemade deliciousness in-between bread. Anyway, I made a bunch of them and left them in the kitchen. My family members ate them all. I didn't get a single one. None. But it's okay, because the salmon burgers were still delicious, and they enjoyed them. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I think.

I don't know why this story sticks in my head so much, but it does. I remember that evening, I wasn't angry at everyone for eating all the salmonburgers, I mostly just...surprised. I didn't expect them all to disappear that quickly. My family really enjoyed them, they told me as much (rather sheepishly) when they discovered that I hadn't gotten any. And from this story, here are  three life lessons that can be learned from this salmonburgers story.

1. Sometimes your best efforts will be in service of someone else. (This one actually came from my sister, who commented on the original 26 bits post.) Sometimes you put in all this work solely for the benefit of someone else. In fact, that's really what serving should be. Me, doing my best, for someone else.

2. Sometimes your job is to do the work, not to eat the fruit. Okay, so this was not the case here, I was supposed to be making dinner for the entire family, including myself. But, sometimes this does happen: you work towards a goal, you work on a project, you contribute to task, and you don't get to reap any of the rewards. In those times, perhaps things happen that way to remind us that there is merit in being the one to lay the foundation, even if you never get the benefit of seeing the completed house.

3. Sometimes the joy comes from planting the harvest, and not from reaping it. Making those salmonburgers was an enjoyable experience. It's a very simple recipe, and I used my hands to mix all the ingrediants and to put the patty together. I got to watch them browning in the pan, and I smelled the first scents of the deliciousness that was coming.

All three of these points remind me of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 3. The church at Corinth had been facing divisions, fighting each other based on which of the preachers/teachers had brought taught them of the Gospel. Rather than focus on who brought the message, he pointed out to the Corinthians that no matter who planted the seed, and who watered it, it was God that caused the growth. We are all God's servants in ministering to others, who are God's field, His building. The point that Paul was making here was that looking at who had done the work to bring the Gospel and lead the people was irrelevant. What mattered was God's glory being seen in the harvest.

So next time you do all the work, but do not get to eat, ahem, I mean, reap the benefits, take joy in being able to serve others.

Be blessed and shine serving others!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23