Salt

A lot of people I know love McDonalds french fries…personally I can’t stand them, as well as almost all fast foods….I wish it was because I am a health nut and concerned about what I eat, but that influence in my choices has yet to rise above a whimper…no…its mostly because of the salt, I can’t stand the amount of salt they use.

I don’t eat salt. Don’t cook with it, never use it except to gargle sore throats and melt ice on the driveway.

So when I read that Jesus tells me to be the salt in the earth a part of me says “Really? Why not pepper or oregano, cinnamon would have been cool…”

But this directive is especially important to someone like me…see I have a prophetic bent and that tends to make me odd, sort of naturally out of sync with the crowd and prone to see whats wrong rather than what is missing…at least that is how it has normally functioned…I’m not defending it, just observing it.

And that is the crux of how my gift has been twisted by my nature, environment, the fall, whatever…instead of seeing what is missing and calling it into existence, I have mostly seen what is wrong and complained…(often quite loudly).

I need to be salt, I need to act like salt, I need to flavor my world like salt does…this requires not stopping or even reacting to the negative side that fills up my immediate vision, I need to intentionally push past it into a bigger perspective.

Salt in the ancient world was the equivalent of modern day “sell-by-dates” and refrigeration ..it was how you kept good food from going bad…if you did not completely “salt” a slab of meat then in very short order it went from something edible to something deadly.

Most of the contexts I have heard of this verse make the issue of salt about evangelism and impacting the world as a witness…I will not discount that meaning, it has merit, but for me the framing needs to go deeper…it needs to go into my core and how I react.

I have a hair trigger for being critical, I don’t mean to be, frankly I do not enjoy a set of eyes that walk into a situation and immediately see whats wrong, I am trying to train myself to see differently, but life habits and natural bents are hard to change, but I also realize that part of my particular gift package has merit.

I have walked onto construction sites as a superintendent and saved contractors thousands of dollars because I could see what was wrong the minute I landed…I have been in auditoriums where the sound guy was pulling his hair out over feedback and I gently pointed out a guitar lying on its side off stage feeding vibration back into the monitor…so there is benefit for my “edginess”.

When it comes to the church, worship, models, community, the future etc, ad infinitum…my natural tendency is to see whats wrong, to isolate the problem, treat it like cancer and start lopping off limbs without thinking…its that hair-trigger response that makes me regret so much of my history…

So salt for me needs to be an extremely focused and disciplined perspective that needs to start the minute my brain smells the coffee in the morning…I need to remember that often I am in a huge landscape of heaven with very near-sighted eyes, yes I see clearly, but its not the things up close that I should focus on…the landscape is breath-taking and I should be enjoying it rather than complaining about the dog poop on the lawn.

Yes the dog poop needs addressing, but it is completely incapable of destroying the majesty of what God is doing unless I give it that power…and frankly the Holy Spirit probably has a pooper scooper and its not a big deal to Him, besides as the ULTIMATE OPTIMIST, He has made it clear that everything is useful to Him, even things like poop…worst case scenario would be that even un-removed poop will become fertilizer and nutrients to the landscape He is gardening…

Recently on a prayer walk I had a picture the Holy Spirit go out over the water and He began to beat His wings rapidly drawing water up into the air until a man was formed…the Father and Son laughed and said “He’s always doing that, He loves to hoover, and we can’t keep Him out of the water!”…

If you are a skeptic…(and often I am even for my own experiences) this mental picture/revelation might seem…frivolous and pointless with little bearing on the day to day life of a believer…

But for someone like me it is an important “salt” adjustment…it is a perspective I need to keep fresh, that the Holy Spirit (the One left here with us) is continually hoovering, creating out of the chaos, He is un-intimidated by the darkness and void and dog poop.

So regardless of how much I see wrong, regardless of the noise I hear, regardless of the smells that I think spoil the landscape, I need to be the one with a perspective that preserves the good, that saves the valuable, that redeems the sacrifice of life given for a bit longer and keeps it from going completely bad…

I need to spoil the spoiling…I need to be salt…and the larger perspective is I am to be salt in the EARTH…that pretty much includes everything…(gun control, global warming, same-sex marriage  empire, substance abuse, sex-trade, apathy, gender issues, etc…)

Oy Vey.

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