Shelf Life

I consider Lisa a “foodie.” She’s the go to gal for recipes and all things deliciously edible. She’s the one you want to run into in the store because she knows what’s in season and how to put together foods in incredible combinations. This season’s favorite is Trader Joe’s Chevre cheese rolled in dried cranberries served on rosemary crackers. See, I told you! 

Several days ago in the midst of a discussion about perishable and imperishable bodies, Lisa made the connection between our perishable bodies and perishable foods. It’s always helpful to me when the truths of Scripture can be illustrated in the analogies and metaphors of our contemporary culture. And what’s more contemporary than grocery stores full of perishable products labeled sell by, use by, expires on, etc.  We are routinely warned about the perish-ability of things we consume; we endlessly search the aisles for stuff with a long shelf life.  

Since this is the time of year for searching the shelves, not only for delectable foods, but also just the right gifts, it seems helpful to focus on the imperishable things of the season, things that have an eternal shelf life with no expiration date. Those are the things I’m thinking about as I’m out and about, searching yet another shelf for just the right item, waiting in yet another line, stopped at yet another red light, dodging yet another kamikaze driver as if it’s the real Peal Harbor rather than the anniversary of. 

Mostly I’ve found hope lite and peace packaged with short expiration dates on the shelves of department stores and supermarkets. But I found the real thing today while playing with old envelopes, cardboard wrapped with painted deli wrap, stencils, double-sided tape and gel medium. I spent a peaceful, creative day filled with delight thinking about a special long-time friend while making a Christmas gift for her. I have been blessed with a long shelf filled with imperishable, eternal friendships – no expiration dates ever. I am grateful for the gift of great shelf life!

What are the imperishable things of the season you’re looking for?  What’s an example of something imperishable in your life? What’s something that has great shelf life for you?

I’ll look forward to your comments.

The painting above, A Star Like No Other, is an acrylic mixed media collage what is currently in an Advent art show “Follow the Star” at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Los Olivos, CA. The design was adapted from my Star of Bethlehem banner.

3 comments to Shelf Life

  • Sara Blackburn

    Absolutely love the collage! It’s truly what I’ve been seeing in my head all season but had no time to stop and try to create! I feel like I could look at it forever and still get something new from it!
    This season and forever I am seeking the imperishable hope that Jesus brings. My job fills me with despair at times as I watch children and youth struggle, fail and walk away from their faith. I am ever reminding myself that despite this, Jesus’ hope is still evident and always at work.
    Looking back at the progress made by students over the years had immeasurable shelf-life for me. I’ve been working with these kids for 8 years now and they continue to grow and change and amaze me with the things they discover about themselves and the world around them.
    What a blessing! Thank you for inspiring me to take the time to think about this!

  • Deanna J Bowling

    I just put Dede’s (ours) Creche up in the living room. Doing so never ceases to fill me with amazement and awe.

  • Robin Rice

    Your words came to me following a friend’s question on Facebook: What if tomorrow is your last day on earth? I considered my response for a while. If tomorrow is my last day I don’t want to know. Just as if something will perish I don’t want to know. I tend to worry about things, knowing in advance doesn’t help me at all.

    Instead I have made the choice to live EVERY day at it’s best. I can do this by truly believing that all people are basically good, trying not to take things personally, learning to take a deep breath and move on quickly. I feel in control of what will perish and what will live in my internal world. I cannot control the space around me, but I can surely control my reactions. Sure, I have bad days, don’t we all. But keep it to one bad day, one bad moment and move on. Maybe only one bad bite, one bad taste, the shelf life of each down moment expiring immediately, while the ability to move on never expires.

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