Inspired by Mustard

Question One, inspired by this article.

University of Chicago

“Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall? We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness…and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard.”

There is a place in the world for people to ride on bikes, backwards, down a San Francisco hill, toward a pier leading out to an open ocean full of sharks and blood, for the fun of it. But, that part of the world is not one where I would fit in well. This world, in this era seems to be a point of excess never seen before. That may sound cliche, and possibly not very true, but in my time and my world, it’s the truest you’d ever know about me. The most challenging thing I’ve done lately is eat a tomato when the doctor told me not to, and the last time I had one, I suffered excruciating pain for three hours. But, it is also not to say I wouldn’t take up a challenge worth training for. I mean, I wouldn’t just grab a two gallon vat of mustard and enough corn dogs to dunk, twist and swirl my way to the bottom, gagging down the meaty-corniness and vinegary yellow heaven, without at least two months of training on ham, shrimp, and balsamic vinegar sandwiches! Who would? I wouldn’t take the risk without the training.

mustardFor example: Do you remember that crazy guy who crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope? Well, he thanked Jesus for getting him across safely, but as a tweet from Ricky Gervais so eloquently pointed out, “Well done Jesus for getting that bloke across the Grand Canyon safely. I bet he feels silly for wasting so much time practicing now.” I bet a lot of Christians were insulted by that remark. I am not so much offended by the sarcasm of the world toward us Christian folk, because we are so easily offended, but I also understand the truth that we cannot just enter into something as dangerous and stupid as crossing a chasm larger then a double wide trailer in a fancy Alabama retirement park without some sort of training. I for one would thank Jesus for getting me to the bottom of that vat of mustard, whether I trained for it or not. Would people be as amazed and full of wonder at my God who got a “bloke” fresh off the street, into winning a mustard eating contest utilizing corn-dogs as it’s medium, then if I had trained for six months and still thanked him? Perhaps they would think me just as stupid for eating that much mustard and corn-dogs whether I thanked Jesus or not.

Yes, I understand you see the difference between eating a sink full of mustard with a bushel of corn-dogs and walking a high-wire across an immensely amazing canyon. But, if this amazingly brave, and stupid man had not thanked Jesus, what difference would it have made to the world? Nothing perhaps. But my God is bigger than that, He can do anything He wants through whatever idiots He wants. Even if I wanted to eat mounds of mustard with stick-fulls of deep fried corn bread surrounding mysterious pink meat products, He would fulfill His purposes whether I thanked Him or not. But, as I am so thrillingly reminded by the word, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” And, yes I can see that perhaps if I took on something as unhealthy as I mentioned multiple times it may not be as glorifying to my God as I may think. But, you never know with, my God.


Posted on July 26, 2013, in 15 Ridiculous College Application Questions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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