The most perfect food in all of the world are grits. When made right. No Yankee grits. ecch! I discovered Yankee grits on my recent trip to Long Island New York. Yankees put sugar and milk in their grits. That's just down right blasphemous. To be made perfect, they must have salt, pepper, and butter. A few weeks ago, Patty and I were eating at a posh, eloquent, Southern restaurant...the Waffle House. It is at Waffle House that one can experience the elevation of Southern grits. You see, there is only one thing that can make Southern grits any better. When warm, melting grape jelly slides off your toast and into your grits. It is just a small taste of heaven. The yellow butter mixes with the bluish jelly to form a kind of green grits. The Wedding Feast in heaven will have green grits. And ham...honey baked, not green. I am sure of it because Daniel and his three friends ate green grits. (A little known exegete of the Hebrew in Daniel 1:12 reveals that the word Zeroa` [pulse], would be better translated as grits.)
So, my oldest daughter Shea said to me one time, “I think you should say that Jesus is sinless instead of perfect. His life wasn’t perfect, it was sinless. He had a lot of rough times, a lot of hardship; it was less than a perfect life.”
Hmmm. Well, she is like everyone else I encounter. They all have the right to be wrong. (tounge-in-cheekly, he said.)
I am very proud of her. She is thinking things through, which is important. Desire t-bone steaks, not baby formula, Paul tells us. I wish more of my congregation desired to think things though instead of being spoon-fed their theology.
But the fact is that this next generation does think this way about life. And the problem is that their view of life being perfect as measured by ease and comfort should give us pause. The Bible didn’t promise us a life free from troubles. As I have stated to my church many times, if you don’t have any problems let me know. I’ll pray that you get some!
Jesus had hardships, but that doesn’t mean He was out of God’s will. So why do we think that a trouble free, easy life is the only life that is perfect? A lack of problems is not a sign of God's will, just as the presence of trouble is not a sign of the absents of God's will.
What does this all have to do with green grits? Most people wouldn’t consider green grits perfect, either. The fact is, you really can’t make them that way. Trust me on this one. I've tried. Grape jelly and grits don’t work as a recipe. But when it happens, it’s...well...perfection.
So it is with life. The things that we endure make us who we are. The things we sacrifice builds us into who God wants us to be. Would I like more stuff? Yeah, why not? But in reality, I have more house than I deserve, more cars than I deserve, and more love than I deserve. And to me, that’s just about as perfect as it gets.