You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with this chick?” While I may never need to attend a CA meeting (that’s Chocoholics Anonymous to you newbies), you will find me licking the salt off of my fingers after indulging in a tasty bag of Fritos.Yep – I’m a salt-a-holic. There. I’ve admitted it.
Interestingly, I don’t reach for the salt-shaker at mealtime but when I’m needing a pick me up, you’ll find me easily strolling past the ice cream and heading straight for the salty snacks. So what does my sodium addiction have to do with anything spiritual or with parenting for that matter?
Well, I was reminded of this at Mass yesterday. Here’s a portion of the reading from the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16:
I’m the salt of the earth. That explains it all now doesn’t it? All kidding aside, the remainder of this passage goes on to say:…”but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Have you ever had a meal that wasn’t salted enough? It’s bland and unappetizing, right? Despite attempts to rescue it by shaking oodles of salt on it, it’s not the same. You leave the table disappointed and likely, still hungry. You’re trying to make that meal into something it just is never going to be.
But what does all of this mean really? Is Jesus telling us to eat more salt or that my Frito addiction won’t keep me out of heaven? No, not really. I believe He’s telling us that we have been created with flavors. Those flavors are our gifts and talents and when they are embraced and shared, it’s like a perfectly seasoned meal. And when they are not, well, let’s just say it ain’t pretty.
What’s Your Salt?
Your particular flavor is likely different than mine. And it should be. If we were all gifted in the same things, our world would collapse. We need many people with a variety of gifts to share. We need doctors and singers and factory workers and chefs and writers. When each of these people is doing what they were born to do, it’s like a beautiful mosaic, all the pieces fit together perfectly.Struggles and frustrations abound when we try to be something we’re not. If I were to spend my time trying to sing like Celine Dion. I’d be met with one disappointment after another. Singing is not my gift. It’s hers, thankfully. That’s her salt.
If I were to try to force my kids to follow in my footsteps, I’d not only be doing them a disservice, I’d be depriving the world of their gifts. And that my friend, would be a disaster.
The Bible passage goes on to tell us that it’s not enough to simply know what your salt is but you gotta shake it around!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
You are the salt and light of the world. So – what’s your salt and how are you sharing it with others?
These questions are asked by millions though likely they resemble something like “What’s my purpose?” or “Why am I here?” Life coaches and mentors are hired to help people figure this out but it’s really so simple.
It’s So Easy!
What are you good at? What do you love to do? What comes easily to you? That my friend is your salt.If you struggle with your work, if it’s hard, if you’re continually frustrated – guess what? It’s not your salt. And it’s likely killing you because it’s leaving you unhappy or angry. Is this the light you want to share with others?
I encourage you to find out what your salt is. Then, when you do, do it up BIG! I mean it – grab that salt shaker and spread it over everyone you see. Spread your light far and wide.
That’s how you make a difference in the world. That’s how you make it a better place. That’s how you spread love and peace.