It has been hot and muggy these last few weeks. I can walk from the house to the church and the sweat is just dripping off my nose by the time I reach the office. The fast food eateries in town have noticed this warm weather and there are frozen drink signs everywhere!
Parker keeps seeing these advertised all over the place and he has really wanted to try one. So earlier this week we went to an ice cream shop and we let him get one. As they made it I watched very closely to see how it they created this frozen concoction. I watched them put the sherbert in. I watched them walk over to the fountain dispenser and add Sprite. I watched them go over to the mixer and mix it all together. I also watched them walk it over to the counter and hand it to Parker. I thought to myself, I can mix sherbert and Sprite together, probably a whole lot cheaper myself.
So as a surprise, last night the boys and I attempted to make Frozen Blasts with Sprite and orange sherbert. We had gone to the store and they had picked the orange sherbert and took turns carrying it to the check out lanes, because as Wesley put it, “it cold!”. Anyway, we get home and I get out the blender and a spoon. The boys are so excited they can barely stand it. We put in the sherbert. We put in the Sprite. We mix it all together. I pour it in a cup. They taste it. And the boys look at me like I had just committed a crime. Parker immediately asked me, “Dad, what did you do wrong!?!” Wesley echoed Parker's feelings with his comment, “Yuck!”. I tried it and could not argue. It was not good. It was not thick. It was not sweet. Everything about it was in sharp contrast to what we experienced the other night at the ice cream shop. In trying to do it myself, I failed.
How many of us have tried to live our lives on our own, convinced that we can do all things better on our steam. You know, things like relationships, finances, personal growth, and a whole host of other things. We think that we have it all under control. We have watched other people do this life thing and it did not look so hard. We have all the right ingredients, we mixed it together in the right amounts, and yet when we pour it out in a cup and taste it, we cannot help but respond with a “yuck!”.
I thought I could make a Frozen Blast on my own, with no help, no assistance, just using my own steam. It did not work out so well. Life is the same way. We can try to do it out on our own, and live with the result. Or we can turn to God, turn to our church family, and get help. I do not believe that we were meant to live life alone, in solitary, on our own steam. I believe that we were meant to live it together; working together, loving each other, supporting one another. That connected type of life, I believe, is more rewarding, more exciting, and more fun. God never meant for us to be alone. God wants us to be connected. In fact Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” It is not that we are worthless apart from God, but rather we can do amazing things when connected. God understands loneliness and does not want that for us. God loves us so deeply that God sent Jesus to model for us what it means to be connected!