I have a special treat for visitors to The Faith Cafe today: a guest post by my dear friend Veronica Gerber. I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as I am with her Biblical insights and compassionate heart. Enjoy!
Yes, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob since I first tasted the black gold that is the hallmark of the 90s: specialty coffee. It’s easy now to simply say “no thanks” to casual offers of coffee at a meeting or the local diner. Once you’ve tasted the real thing, the competition doesn’t even come close: it may look like coffee, perhaps even smell like coffee, but doesn’t quite pack the same punch…there’s simply no comparison.
Can I say the same about my spiritual palate? Psalm 34:8 declares, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Once we’ve tasted, as-it-were, the goodness of the Lord, dined at the King’s table, how can we feed again on the swill that darkly courses through the world’s troughs?
Take a reading of your own heart and mind. Are you consciously aware of what you’re drinking in day by day through the eye-gate and ear-gate? If you’re settling for the trough when you could be drinking deeply of the living water Jesus offers, stop.
Ask any child who puts on a superhero costume for Halloween.
They suddenly feel braver. Their confidence gets a boost. They believe that they can achieve things that they couldn’t before.
Actors understand this. Many actors report that they can more readily get in character for their role once they don the costume associated with it.
Interestingly, some actors identify with the characters they portray so much that they become real-life action heroes.
Tom Cruise has reportedly rescued people in real life at least six times, including coming to the aid of a woman set upon by muggers in London, rescuing a family from a burning boat in France, and helping the victim of a hit-and-run in California.
Likewise, action star Harrison Ford has pulled someone out of a burning car, and has used his own helicopter to rescue a stricken hiker.
The theory behind this phenomenon is called “embodied cognition,” and it might help explain how actors and others become their roles.
In the case of action heroes, acting brave in movies may lead to actually being brave. The more you practice something, the more you become it.
The key might be in putting on a costume or adopting a set of behaviours.
I think that’s why Scripture tells us to “put on” Christ.
Have you ever tried a recipe you secretly doubted would work out?
They’re often the ones with the word “magic” in the recipe title, and they seem to promise the impossible.
The “Magic Chocolate Pudding Cake” below is a good example. The recipe instructs you to press a firm batter into a baking pan, and then pour flavoured boiling water on top of it. It claims this will magically transform into cake and sauce during the baking process.
You may be a bit dubious about this, however. The batter seems too solid and unyielding, impenetrable to the liquid atop it. You don’t see how this “magical” transformation will ever happen.
As you put the baking pan in the oven, you may think, “This will never work out. This will be another culinary disaster my family will tease me about for years to come, like the time I tried to cook a Thanksgiving turkey but forgot to turn the oven on.”
But lo and behold, the recipe does succeed after all! The two differing natures of the mixture are indeed transformed into something new and delicious, and your family thinks you’re a genius in the kitchen.
Unlikely transformations can still happen in our lives, too.
Do you like Christmas fruitcake? Or do you just pretend to? Some people look forward to making or receiving fruitcakes at this time of year. Other people dread the prospect of eating fruitcake yet again.
If you’ve been faking enjoyment of Christmas fruitcake all these years and would really rather not eat any more of it, I think I have a solution for you: