When life gives you… pineapple, cheese & Ritz crackers?!?
At many churches in America, there is a beautiful tradition called the Church Potluck. If you are unfamiliar with this tradition, it’s when people who attend church get together and share a meal. Each person is responsible for bringing a dish to share. Typically these dishes are casseroles, cakes, or various other tasty concoctions with various levels of cheese and potatoes.
Here at California United Methodist Church, this tradition holds strong! On the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., we come together as a group of people and share a meal. Our meals are open to anyone who would like to join us and experience the beauty that is large groups of people all bonding over the last chicken leg or piece of chocolate cake.
One of the dishes we have on a regular basis is a dish that doesn’t make sense. It is a combination of crushed pineapple, shredded cheese, and Ritz crackers. This sounds as if it would be disgusting. In fact, the first time this dish was offered to me I turned my nose up because cheese and pineapple just should not go together.
However, not to be rude, I tasted some. Then I tasted more, and more, and more, until I had embarrassed myself, and my family, by eating most of the casserole dish.
Cheese, pineapple, and crackers should not go together and they should not taste good. It should be a culinary disaster. But it isn’t. Instead, it is amazing. Now, when there is a potluck meal I make sure I am close to the front of the line so that I can enjoy this delicacy. It is unexplainable just how delicious this meal is.
I wonder how often life is like this. There are things we experience and go through that just don’t make sense. Sometimes, what we experience is the most painful thing in our lives.
Some things just don’t make sense. Whether it was that job loss, or that unplanned pregnancy, sometimes our life doesn’t make any sense and we don’t know why.
These things that happen can destroy us. They don’t make sense, they make us feel worthless and unloved and sometimes we wonder if it will ever get better. If we are honest with ourselves, sometimes these things can drive us to the point where we want to give up on it all.
In the Bible, it says God makes everything beautiful in its own time. This idea even includes you. Whatever you are going through right now is not the best it is going to get. Times may be difficult right now. You might be going through violence, poverty, depression, addiction, or worse. No matter what you are going through and no matter how much it does not make sense, there will come a day when everything will work out. That might mean seeking out help to get better, or getting out of a bad situation, or just waiting patiently. Whatever it takes, you can do this. You are not alone. There is help out there and there are people who will guide you and walk with you through it all.
Just like pineapple, cheese, and crackers mixed together, there are parts of our lives that don’t make sense and shouldn’t work out, but the God of the universe is in the business of making all things beautiful in perfect timing.
So, if you need a helping hand to see the beauty in your life there are resources for that. From churches to hotlines there are places to go or people to call that will remind you of the beauty of your own life.
Resources for Help
California United Methodist Church:
Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Domestic Violence Shelter:
Greater Washington County Food
Worship services are held at California United Methodist Church, 227 Third St., every Sunday at 10 a.m. (summer hours begin June 7)
Written by Pastor B.T. Gilligan for Pennsylvania Bridges