Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Of salsa and Jesus...

I remember it well, the very first time I ever tried salsa. You would think it was when I was little, but no, I was 20 at the time. I was working at a place called the Lazy T in Estes Park, Co. My coworkers and I were sharing a late sight snack they called chips and salsa. I remember thinking wow, this salsa stuff is good, must be something new on the market! Well, imagine my surprise when I was told salsa had been around for awhile, in fact the first jar of Pace Picante Sauce was sold in 1947! How could I have missed it? Did the salsa industry forget to sell to Iowa? Or was I just really that oblivious, I mean I even worked in a grocery store in high school. Somehow, this amazing product escaped my radar for 20 years!!!

There was something else I missed growing up too....Jesus! I didn't really cross paths with Him until I was 18. I grew up going to church, I even prayed regularly and owned a Bible. Somehow, I missed Jesus, just like I had missed salsa. He was right there ready for me to see Him, but I just didn't.

The summer I accepted Christ was a pretty crazy one for me. I had just graduated high school and was preparing for college. My parents decided to divorce and I found myself living with my aunt and uncle. Nothing was normal, everything was changing and changing fast. Our youth group went to an event in Estes Park, Co (the same place I would discover salsa in two more years). During that week, something happened, somewhere in the midst of all the workshops and games, I came face to face with the Gospel. It was a major aha moment. One I took in quietly, I prayed to become a Christian, and thought I was good.

I wish I could say, everything changed at the moment, life suddenly made sense and I became a strong believer overnight. No, I kind of put Jesus on a shelf, not intentionally, but because I was so shy and private at the time I told nobody of my decision and therefore I had no one to tell me there was more to Christianity than that one prayer. I went off to college and had an interesting year. I wanted to be like my Christian roommate Lynn, but I also wanted to have some fun. I slept in on Sunday mornings, feeling a bit guilty about seeing Lynn leave for church, but my Saturday night fun was more important at the time.

 Lynn had a strange habit that totally fascinated me...she read her Bible. In fact, she even wrote in it! That totally blew my mind. I mean weren't Bibles for looking good on a shelf? You weren't supposed to write in them, right? What was she doing every day reading and marking in her Bible? This was another aha moment in my life, similar to discovering Jesus and salsa. I thought well maybe just maybe I should find my Bible and read it too.

 Another aha moment was when my friend Teresa became a Christian. People were congratulating her and when I finally found out why I remember saying, "Hey, I'm a Christian too then, because I also accepted Jesus."  Slowly over the next year, I let my guard down and figured this whole Christianity thing out.

God had one more aha moment for me in that time frame. The end of my sophomore year, I was asked out by of all people, Brian Haynes. Oh was I thrilled. I never thought someone like him would like someone like me! During those final few months of that school year, Brian began taking me to church. Not just any church, but one that taught out of the Bible, in fact is was called the Bible Church. I'd never seen people actually carry their Bibles to church. This is where is all started to click for me. Aha..there is more to Christianity than just praying a pray, there is more to it than reading your Bible, there is more to it than attending any old church. It's where I realized Christianity wasn't just an extracurricular activity, it is a way of life!

I still had a long way to go, but as I look back over all those years, I see growth in my life. I did not come out of the gate a strong Christian with all the answers, but God was patient and has taught me so much. I still don't have all the answers (even though I like to think I do!), life is full of aha moments with God and it so much fun, challenging and crazy all at the same time.

My relationship with salsa has ended, it is now an enemy of my body; but my relationship with Jesus is much more spicy and flavorful than anything salsa could ever be for me!

The fruit of the Spirit is much better than any old jar of salsa!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 
Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:21-23

Linking up Today with:

Encouraging Words Wednesday
iFellowship

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story, God is so good! Happy ifellowship!

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  2. great post and what a wonderful testimony you have of God's plan and work in your life. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  3. Wonderful post, thank you for sharing your aha moments. I really enjoyed reading this.

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  4. Oh a lovely post. How God guided you has blessed me today.

    I hope your week is full of joy with a few fun blessings thrown in!

    Pamela

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  5. I have a "chili" recipe of my grandmothers - used for pork. I was talking with my aunt and said it reminded me of salsa (but not) - she said salsa and mexican food really didn't exist in people's kitchens until maybe the 60s - and that was what they used.

    Wonderful post on how we grow - and it's o.k. to come out of the gate slow - God knows we need to grow into Him - and that takes times.

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