"Tonight's ingredients are: Chicken feet, poblano peppers, black radishes and Skittles."
If you think this sounds a bit crazy, you haven't watched the Food Network show, Chopped. On the show four chefs compete for ten thousand dollars by creating dishes using only the ingredients they are given in a basket. These ingredients are often unusual and meant to stretch the chefs' skills to make something that tastes delicious and looks good. The best moments on the show are when the ingredient baskets are opened and the chefs' expressions are shown. How do you make chicken feet with talons attached look or taste good. (On a cautionary note, always remove the talons before serving. Your food shouldn't injure your guests.)
Recently, I was thinking about my life. Right now, it feels like I am waiting for several things to come together. Everything feels unfinished. Tony is almost done with his schooling. We are almost married. I am waiting for the bank to complete my loan modification. I have plans to finally follow my own personal call. But I can't start quite yet. I have opportunities at work which don't seem to make sense right now. While I am not tied to the past, it is also part of my decisions. It is harder to follow a call with a mortgage, two kids in college and a third who needs braces. How does this all fit together? It feels like I have been handed a bunch of puzzle pieces but no picture on the puzzle box.
Similarly to the chefs on Chopped, we are all thrown a basket full of ingredients. The good, the bad and the ugly are given to us, then God asks us to do something with all of it. The passage from Romans comes to mind, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28 ESV. Somehow the contestants make Chicken feet and Skittles into an appetizer that will impress the most discerning judges. And somehow these seemingly chaotic and at times painful pieces of my life can through faith in God's redemptive work become something new. For now, I can trust that each piece has a place and wait in expectation to "taste and see" what God has done with my life.