I was a very picky eater when I was a kid. My mom used to serve those frozen pot pies and I would insist she remove the peas from my serving. There were few vegetables I liked. When I got older, my taste for veggies changed little, until one day while I was a college student. My roommate had prepared broccoli and cauliflower and offered me some. I declined, telling him I didn’t like either of them. He then asked me a question for which I was unprepared: “When was the last time you even tried either of these?”
Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it. At the time, I just knew I didn’t like those vegetables. I concluded it had been at least a decade or more since I had tasted them, and he urged me to give them another try. And what do you know, they weren’t that bad! In fact, I rather liked both of them.
It is the human tendency to cement thoughts and experiences from our childhoods into our adult minds. This often leads to false conclusions, such as the one I had about not liking cauliflower and broccoli. While this is fairly innocuous, others carry far greater consequences, such as feeling unloved as a child and concluding as an adult you are not truly lovable. Or being molested and growing up believing adults cannot be trusted. Or, as I did, growing up in a home where I was taken to church, but saw little love between mom and dad, which shaped my views of Christianity as a young adult. I viewed it as a religion that made little practical difference in one’s life.
As my college roommate challenged my view on certain veggies, others challenged my views on the Christian faith. In essence, in both cases they were saying to me, “taste and see.” What I had concluded from my childhood experiences they were calling into question. “Taste and see if what you think is really true.” It wasn’t with regard to the veggies, and it wasn’t with regard to Jesus.
I have spent my adult life essentially urging students to do what my college friends pleaded with me to do. For so many, by the time they reach college age, they are living on their immature conclusions, sincerely held, but wrong. Many have concluded God is a spoiler of fun and lifelong dreams, or a harsh taskmaster who is never satisfied, or is uncaring because if He cared, He wouldn’t have permitted such terrible things to happen to them. And so they reject the faith altogether or they keep up appearances while harboring these conclusions out of fear of what others will think.
But having tasted the Lord as a college student, I recognize I was wrong about Him. He was nothing like I had imagined Him to be, nor is He anything like many current students’ conclusions about Him. Just this past week, I witnessed the results of a student tasting God again, having concluded years earlier that she was unacceptable to Him. Instead of anger and disappointment, she found love and acceptance.
Today, if you are holding on to negative conclusions about the Lord you originally drew while you were a child, let me encourage you to taste the Lord again and see if He tastes differently to you. I believe you will find, like I did, He tastes a lot better than you imagined.
© Jim Musser 2016