Taste

Taste    It happened again. This time it was the tip of the stylus we use with our tablet. Tooth marks and a chunk missing and a guilty looking preschooler. She destroyed another just last week. And bit a hole in a pretzel bag, letting salt and crumbs pour all over the back seat of the car. And shredded part of her blankie, and took the corner off a book, and left indentations in her stuffed monkey’s eye… It’s like living with a puppy.

Or maybe a dinosaur.

Our oldest outgrew putting things in her mouth very early on, but this one is still at it at almost three and a half. We’re starting to wonder if it will ever stop.

This is a child who MUST experience everything with all of her senses. It’s not enough to touch something with her fingers; she has to chew on it to get a real feel for it. She has to be ankle deep in the mud, to stick her whole face in a bouquet of flowers, to sing at the top of her lungs. We won’t even talk about what happens when she picks her nose.

Her life motto seems to be, “If it’s not worth doing big, it’s not worth doing at all.”

As frustrating as it is to find tiny tooth marks on everything, I have to say I’m grateful for her passion. She has an advantage, I think, in understanding the nature of a God who wants us to “taste and see that the LORD is good”.

He wants us to experience him, to know first-hand that he is good. Anything else is just riding on the coat tails of someone else’s faith.

A few days ago, I made a new recipe – chicken with a fancy homemade barbeque sauce. I worked on it for a long time, chopping fresh garlic and simmering orange juice and guava paste. But both of my kids took one look and declared they wouldn’t like it. We have a rule in our house that you have to take at least one bite before you can turn anything down. The older one, not a spice lover, dutifully took her bite and then ate the rest of her chicken without sauce. But the dinosaur – um, I mean three-year-old – tasted it and decided she loved it.

She had to actively experience it before she realized it was good, that it was exactly what she was craving.

There are times I chose not to pray – too boring – or read the Bible – too tedious. (Bad missionary. Bad, bad missionary.) There are other things holding my attention, things that feel more satisfying in the moment.

Then there are times, days when I feel my need near and raw, that I dig deep and open wide. And as I experience God’s Spirit, I realize that he is good… exactly what I’ve been craving.

And the funny thing is that the more I experience him, the more I notice him in everything. Things like the bluebirds finding bugs in the back yard. My children lying arm-in-arm on the warm hood of the car, looking for shapes in the clouds. Fire orange in a sunset that makes me feel like I can fly, and bare feet on grass anchoring me to soil and time.

The more I crave him, the more I notice him. And the more I notice him, the more I crave him.

And he is good.

    So very good.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him.”
(Psalm34:8 NLT)

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