by, Jim Campbell, Pastor Bay West Church of Palm Bay Florida
I’m not what you consider a foodie…at all. I’m from the Southern United States, where it’s usually meat and potatoes and fresh vegetables. I like my steaks well done, my hamburgers big and nothing really fancy. For most of my life, I hated on things like couscous, which, according to Wikipedia, is a “a North African Berber dish of small steamed balls of semolina”…see? Semolina? That just reads nasty to me. I had a whole construct of how something like “couscous” would taste and what disgusting texture that would have, and you couldn’t have gotten me to try it for ANYTHING.
Enter my wife…who is exactly the opposite of me. She likes to try new things all the time, frequently asking the waiter what’s their favorite, and even if they say something “mountain dried treebark and gas-flavored dirt”, she’ll try it. (They don’t say that, but that’s what it sounds like to a non-foodie like me.)
One day, my wife decided to fix couscous, and feed it to me. It took some serious talking to, but I tried it…off of the trust that 20 years of marriage brings you…and… I LOVED it! Couscous is one of the favorite things she “fixes” (South, remember). I can’t believe that for most of my life, that I wouldn’t eat it because of the misconception I had about it, and I missed out. I believe that a lot of people fall into the trap I was in (and can still get in, if it sounds like “Tree bark”).
At Bay West, we are almost done with a series called “I Want to Believe, But…”, and we are talking about perceptions of God that are both popular and common in our society, but also are extremely misleading. In fact, when I talk to people who don’t believe in God, and I ask them to explain why, I actually agree with them. Nope, I don’t think that God exists either. It’s not because I don’t think God exists, but the picture that they describe isn’t God.
Unfortunately, while it’s not as trivial as my deal with couscous, it’s still a barrier to something good, that is sorely needed in people’s lives. Whether you reject the real God or a fake picture of Him, you are still without him, missing out on something that you need. My hope is that everyone has a friend like my wife who will help you see the truth of what you are missing. If you don’t, find a solid Christ following friend or a great church (like Bay West), give Jesus a try and stop “hating on couscous”.
Jim Campbell (@jwcamp on Twitter) is the Lead Pastor of Bay West Church,
which meets at 100 Emerson Drive in Palm Bay on Sundays at 11am.