One of my seminary professors, Dr. Steve Tracy, earned his doctorate at the University of Sheffield in England. For part of his degree program he relocated his family to the UK.
When Thanksgiving rolled around, they had been there for some time. Long enough to be missing home and family in the United States. They thought it would be good for their morale to prepare an old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. They planned and cooked and with great excitement sat down to enjoy the feast. Taking a bite of the turkey, they were surprised to discover the flavor was nothing like the turkey their taste buds were anticipating. In fact, it was a bad surprise. Steve said it tasted awful. They cooked it the way they always had. So how could this be?
Then it dawned on him. Turkeys in England aren’t corn fed.
They are raised on fish meal.
Therein lay the difference. The flavor of the turkey has everything to do with the turkey’s steady diet.
What’s your steady diet?
Proverbs 23:7 reminds us, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Our thoughts are powerful. And our thoughts, whether we like to admit it or not, are fueled by whatever “steady diet” we feed into our mind.
What’s your steady diet? Does your day start and end with Constantly Negative News (CNN)? Is break room gossip part of your Monday through Friday routine? Is your mood dictated by what you hear on talk radio or read on the front page of USA Today? Do you spend time on the phone with a whining partner, talking about everything that’s wrong in your respective lives? Is the music you’re listening to angry and depressing? The people you hang with…is their glass chronically half empty?
What’s your steady diet? Does your day start and end with hope? A prayer of thanks? The thought that no matter how ugly life looks God can make it beautiful? Are you listening to positive music? Are you reading books that stretch your mind and feed your soul? Are you surrounding yourself with people who have just as many problems as you yet choose to look for positive solutions? The people you hang with…is their glass half full?
It’s a given that we get bumped around in our rough and tumble world. No amount of positive thinking can shield us from that. We’re going to get knocked around. It’s when we get bumped that people find out what flavor we are. A crisis here, an emergency there, an injustice done to us and no one has to guess what our steady diet has been. It’s right there at the surface. In our words, our reactions, our response.
Whatever our steady diet is determines our flavor.
I can’t speak for you, but I’ve got to spend more time paying attention to my diet. More God, less fear. More God, less worry. More God, less whining. More God, less short-sighted human thought. More God, less me.
From the outside, all turkeys look the same. Their steady diet determines their flavor. When people have opportunity to discover my flavor, what’s real on the inside of me, I don’t want them to be badly surprised.
What’s your flavor?
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, think on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8
Todd A. Thompson – March 3, 2009