I love everything about fall – the slight chill in the air, skylines filled with color, huddling around bonfires, and pumpkin everything! I think I’ve grown to appreciate the short beauty of fall even more after living in Florida for nearly six years.
For some reason, I’ve been especially excited about the fall flavored lattes this year. This past weekend while on a road trip with a friend, we stopped for caffeination and a bold, colorful sign greeted us, “Fall flavors are here! Pumpkin and salted caramel!!” I had walked in fully intending to get a very tall pumpkin latte, but then there was the salted caramel. My friend grabbed my arm, “Salted caramel is here!!” We started squealing and giggling like school girls all while pointing excitedly at the sign (that’s apparently what happens when Moms get out of the house for a weekend!). We were making such a scene that the barista leaned over the counter and craned her neck to inspect the sign saying, “What in the world does that sign say?!” She looked just as confused when we announced, “SALTED CARAMEL!!” Her eyes got round and I ordered, “Two of the tallest size you have please!”
We walked happily out of the shop sipping the slightly salted cup of caramel caffeinated magic, completely re-fueled for the next leg of our trip. Who knew that just a little bit of salt could cause so much excitement? I mean, a caramel latte is good, but a salted caramel latte? AH-mazing. That little touch of salt makes the flavor *POP!*
In my motherhood, I’ve discovered that the smallest amount of salt on vegetables can make the difference between my children eating delightedly or choking them down (or spitting it out). Forget broccoli and cauliflower drowning in cheese, just add a small sprinkle of salt.
As I was chuckling at how excited we got over just a little bit of salt, I was reminded of what Jesus said to His followers:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
There are two main things salt is used for:
1. Preserving: When canning, salt is used to preserve the food, help it keep its taste and color and survive on a shelf much longer than it could otherwise.
2. Enhancing: As I described above, a little bit of salt brings out the best of food’s flavor taking some things from barely tolerable to amazingly enjoyable.
When Jesus described his followers as the salt of the earth, I think He may have had those two tasks in mind. Life is full of challenges and pain. I have found, that a relationship with Jesus has preserved my own life – taking incredibly difficult seasons of life from barely tolerable, to sometimes enjoyable – not because the situation itself has turned enjoyable, but because of the hope I have in Him, because of the love I experience from Him and from those who love Him. When we are living according to the ways of Jesus, we get to be a little bit of salt, helping preserve the lives of those around us, encouraging them through His love to endure incredibly difficult life situations by walking with them and helping them survive longer than thought possible.
And as for enhancing, Jesus has definitely brought out the best in me, enhanced my own life’s flavor. He continues to take my rather rough edges and soften them, showing me how to love better – how to be a better family member and friend, how to be a better community member – not out of duty or moral obligation, but out of a deep and abiding love for Him and those around me. Without Him, I don’t taste that great, and I’m not very loving! I hope that as I live my life, I’m spreading His “saltiness” and that others might enjoy being around me, and maybe even get a little bit excited about life, even though the tough things are still there.
So this week, how salty are you?
And as for salt losing its saltiness, come back later this week!