When Your World Crumbles Apart

Once every four to six weeks, I drive thirty miles to a bargain food store--you know, one of those scratch and dent places.  I stock up on canned goods, rice, frozen foods and any other good deals I find.  Typically, I end up filling the back of my Xterra to the brim and spending between $120-$150, which definitely makes the longer trip worthwhile.

Since I only go once every month or so, I've had to learn the best ways to stock up and to store items that normally wouldn't last that long.  I've discovered which items you can freeze and which ones you can't.  And usually, we don't have any issues.  However, this last time I went, I found a great deal on a name-brand, asiago sliced cheese.  Knowing that Jason uses sliced cheese on his sandwich nearly every day, I decided to buy two packs.  When I got home, I placed one in the refrigerator and one in the freezer, remembering that I have frozen sliced cheese on numerous occasions.

Evidently, asiago cheese doesn't freeze as well as cheddar or swiss.  When it came time to thaw out the cheese, I did the same as I always do.  I removed it from the freezer, placed it in the refrigerator and waited the appropriate amount of time.  But when I tried to pull out the first slice of cheese, the entire package of asiago crumbled in my hand.  The nice, neat slices were no more.  Instead, I held in my hand of bag full of small, crumbled pieces, some no bigger than a grain of rice.

My first thought was to throw it out and run to the local store to buy some decent sliced cheese, but then the thrifty side of me kicked in--the side that can't stand to waste food.  And on this occasion, my thrifty side had a point.  No, the cheese could not pass for sliced cheese.  It was a mess.  But it could be used as shredded cheese.  It would still work well on tacos, pastas, salads and baked potatoes.  There was no reason to throw it away. I simply needed to re-purpose it.

The same can be said for life when it, too, crumbles apart.  In the midst of the messy pieces, it seems like the best thing to do is just throw it all away.  Why bother?  What a mess!  But even the messiest of circumstances can be re-purposed.  They can be used in another way, perhaps a better way.  You know, I would have never dreamed of placing a slice of asiago cheese on my baked potato, but guess what I've discovered.  Crumbled asiago on a baked potato is far better than plain cheddar.  Without the crumbling, I would have never known.  The same can be said about the valleys of life.  Without certain roadblocks, we might never end up on the right road.  Without detours, we might never discover our true calling in life.  And without tribulations, we might never remember how much we have to be thankful for.

When your world crumbles apart, don't despair or give in.  Look at it as an opportunity to explore new options and discover new pathways.  Don't retire; re-purpose.

Now, if you'll excuse me, all this talk of asiago baked potatoes has made me hungry.  I guess I know what I'm having for lunch!

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Galatians 6:9