Seasoning

I am always amazed at how sometimes, the simplest concept can just blow me away. And when I say “blow me away”, I mean really “wow” me. Make me really think. Not just about it’s profound nature, but also at how simple it is, and yet I still didn’t think of it. Well, one of these moments happened to me last week. I was having a conversation with a recently acquired new friend. We were meeting at a local Panera Bread and getting to know each other a little better. Now, I’ll be honest, I felt as though I was the one in the hot seat. But that’s okay. It gave me a chance to reminisce a little bit about Christina as I related my journey to my new friend. We had such a great time, chatting, getting to know each other, and brainstorming (but that’s for another post).

Okay, so what does that have to do with seasoning? Well, if you know me, then you know that I love to experiment with cooking different things. And when you experiment with cooking, you start learning about which seasonings work better with/than others. Sometimes it works out. Other times…….not so much. But I still LOVE to experiment. Figuring out which seasons work best with others. Which ones work better with different foods. I’ve gotten pretty good with matching seasonings to foods. Although I still sometimes get a little over enthusiastic in their application of the seasonings to those particular foods. If you would like to hear more about my disasters, feel free to ask the kids. They’ll be happy to point out my flaws to anyone who asks……..with, of course, the proper dollar amount. But don’t worry, it’ll be money well spent, going directly to their college education.

Now, contrary to what you might think, I didn’t start this post for the purpose of discussing my cooking inefficiencies. No, it’s much deeper than that. Our discussion turned to a different kind of season. See, just like the weather will go through seasons over the course of a year. We too will go through seasons over the course of our lifetime. Now, I personally prefer Spring and Fall. But that’s me. I know this other guy (I think he’s a little crazy) who absolutely LOVES Winter. (Don’t worry Dad, I won’t tell them it’s you). It’s kind of like cooking. I have a couple of seasons that I like to use more than others. And then there’s some that I have absolutely no use for. I wouldn’t say that your wrong because you DO have a use for it, but it wouldn’t make you right either. Okay, all kidding aside now (I love you Dad!!), there is a point here. During my conversation with my new friend, he gave me a quote that was so incredibly simple, yet so profound. He said “Seasons, season seasons**”. Yes, I had to stop and think about that for a second. But it’s so true!! Just like in cooking, we season our food to add flavor and make it better. What would Spring be, if we didn’t first go through Winter? I can tell you that I probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much if it weren’t for how much I dislike Winter. And so too in life, every season we go through, adds season and flavor to the next.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking……”but Steve, what about all those times you put the wrong seasoning in you food and made it taste bad?”. Yeah, I get it. Not every season in our life is a good one. And if given the chance, we would likely put it back on the shelf. But if we take a moment to think about it, it works. See, just because a season didn’t taste good in one dish, doesn’t mean it won’t taste good in another dish. So in experimenting, we learn were to apply that particular season. We have to be proactive in our approach. The same process applies in life. We may go through some tough seasons. Seasons we would much rather not have gone through. But if we are proactive in our approach to life, we learn where to apply the season so that it makes the next season of our life a little (or a lot) better. But it’s up to us to apply it properly. It may take a lot of trial and error. And we may screw up some other seasons. But like in cooking. If we screw it up one way. We learn from it, and don’t do it that way again. We try a different way. Until we get the desired result.

Jesus said in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. I mention this because, while I REALLY enjoy experimenting, there are still times when I have to consult an expert. Someone that can direct me in the desired direction. Someone who wants to give me hope for my future of cooking (or has pity on my kids). So too in life, we may need to consult an expert to direct us in the desired direction. Someone who wants to give us hope and a future. And I personally, am incredibly grateful to Him for helping me through my seasons, and giving me the direction I need to make each subsequent season, the most flavorful of all of them. Don’t be afraid to let your seasons, season your seasons.

** Quote credit to my new friend Mark Goldstein. Thank you sir!!

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