My friends who fancy themselves as up-and-coming chefs tell me never to eat pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, or a lot of other sauces and entrees on the same day that they are prepared. According to my friends, these dishes need to sit for several hours so — get this — the flavors can inform each other.
What? According to these Emile wannabes, the spices have to talk to each other. The flavorings need time to seep into and saturate the food rather than just sit on top of the dish. Allowing a dish to rest will allow the best taste to emerge.
Some things just take time.
This is a hard lesson to learn. Most of us have been in a hurry since the day we were born. When we’re growing up, we can’t wait to get through to the next adventure of our lives. When we’re in high school, we can’t wait to get to college. When we’re in college, we can’t wait to graduate and get out in the real world. There’s always something else around the bend.
Some of us have lived long enough to know what is around the next bend. We’ve learned that whatever the future holds, it probably won’t be any better than what we have right in front of us. Being present, being where you are, and being with whomever you are with in the moment — these are the things that make life meaningful. These are the memories we hold on to.
You have to have lived a little while to get that. You have to have had a few adventures, some miraculous successes, and catastrophic failures in order to understand that these are neither the best of times nor the worst of times. What they are, whatever they turn out to be, are largely determined not by the circumstances themselves, but by our responses to them.
Worst day ever? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends. On what? On how we respond. When we’re younger, our responses are quick, even rash. We’re quick to judge and slow to forgive. Everything matters. Everything is urgent. Every day the world ends.
As we age, or “season”, we learn better. Some things just take time, and sometimes getting ready to serve our kingdom’s purpose is one of those things that takes a little time. In fact, get ready for the moment when God will call us for a unique purpose that takes an entire lifetime. Abraham was seventy-five years old when God called him. Moses was eighty. Noah was older than that. Throughout the Scriptures, God leads people through their lives, over every mountain, and through every valley, teaching them lessons every step of the way, until they are ready to be used for His purposes.
Look at David’s life. He spent his early life in the wilderness keeping the sheep. That’s where he learned about the Father’s care for Israel. That’s where he learned how a good shepherd tends for his sheep. These are the same lessons David would use when he was caring for his nation as king and it took David a lifetime to learn them.
The apostle Paul was a well-trained Biblical scholar, and because of that, he was able to make the case for Christ from the Scriptures. His letters are filled with Scriptural passages and references reinforcing his teachings. Paul was “seasoned” in the Scriptures.
Some of us are having those moments where we’re wondering if we really made any difference with our lives. We look to our past and worry about our legacy.
But what if, instead of looking to the past, we look to the future? What if we begin to understand that everything in our lives up to this point has been “seasoning”? What if, day after day, God has been preparing us for a moment when we are finally ready…seasoned just right for this moment in the life of the kingdom?
What if, like Moses and Abraham, the best part of the story is yet to be written? After all, some things just take a little time. Everything is better with a little seasoning.