Opening Thoughts for July 2010

In an effort to further prime the pump for blog writing, here is my latest installment for the church newsletter:


Most of you have been going to the grocery store long enough to know that “Contents May Settle.” As a result of this settling, there are so many more raisins at the bottom of the box than at the top. Raisin Bran is what I’m talking about, in case you didn’t know. (Yes, here’s another opening ramble from the breakfast musings of your pastor.) And these aren’t just regular dried grapes; they’re raisins that have been sweetened to the point of rendering them almost candy. Wow! What a difference there is between both the taste and the nutrition content from the top and the bottom of the cereal box. Could somebody check my blood sugar, please?

You’ve probably noticed the same thing with other products. When you buy potato chips, you get half a bag of free air as a bonus. The chips huddle at the bottom and scrape their salt from one another, creating an oily, salty slick of crumbs that could cure meat.

This type of gravity-induced retreat from the mouth of the eater happens in many products, including some which aren’t even food, like laundry detergent. That’s why dry contents are measured by weight, not by volume.

What method, would you say, do most Christians use to measure their contents? …by weight, or by volume? That’s a throwaway question really, because talk about “most Christians” does not help us get to a point of personal faith impact. What we really need to consider is how we measure our own content. Weight is a matter of substance, how much stuff is really there. Volume is a matter of how much room you take up. Volume, also, is a matter of how loud you get (another way of filling space).

How are you measuring the contents you carry? And has the shelf life of your contents caused a settling that maybe compromises the real value of what is there? It’s just a question…I need to go brush my teeth.

Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I do enjoy this article. It’s about food, my favorite subject and you very eloquently stated what you wanted to say on a difficult topic without really saying it. Cool!!

    • Thank you very much; that’s a nice thing to say. Please read again when you get the chance!

  2. I get your point. Settling occurs over time, and we all need to stir things up occasionally, shake the package so to speak, to keep ourselves involved and relevant.

    Perhaps in the past we used to volunteer to do something but haven’t in awhile, maybe it’s time to volunteer again. Or maybe something we used to do just isn’t needed anymore, so it’s time to learn something new.

    Maybe more important than what we do, is the simple fact that we need to do something to stay involved.

    Faith (and faith growth) doesn’t just happen, it’s something that we need to work at. I think alot of adults have forgotten this very important point.

    I particularly like your statement about measuring our own content, and our weight: “Weight is a matter of substance, how much stuff is really there”. Okay – Question: Are you referring to weight as in mass (how much is there) or are you referring to weight as in quality (what we do with what we have). Sorry, this is the way I think, I’m an engineer. I said I like your statement and here is why – I have been involved with teaching confirmation now for 8 years and your statement immediately made me think of our youth (7th/8th graders).

    Weight – they are not big physically so they don’t have much weight (mass), and they don’t have alot of life experience yet (quality) so you wouldn’t expect them to bring alot to the faith equation would you? Wrong – I have been asked on more than one occasion by a student why I teach confirmation, and my answer is always the same, they teach me as much as I teach them (perhaps sometimes more). The faith based conversations we engage in demonstrate that not only do they get what faith is all about, they get it on a level that we adults usually miss because we think we already “know it”.

    Small packages can be deceiving, even when they have not settled.

    Oh, by the way, hang on to that toothbrush!

  3. Hey, I love this post! What a great illustration and encouragement for self-reflection. There was a lot of weight or substance in what you shared. I’m so glad you’re back to blessing cyberspace with your thoughts!

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