A Wisconsin sheriff deputy pulled up on a highway covered in red. Little red dots, hundreds of thousands. Stepping out of the car he was met with the smell of candy. Looking closer, the highway was covered in red skittles. Only red. The sheriff at first worried children’s rainbows would be incomplete, but then discovered that the flatbed truck was delivering the skittles in order to make cattle feed.
NPR joked, “Hey, strawberry Skittles equals strawberry milk, right?!” Unfortunately, the world is not so wonderful. Cows eating skittles does not make flavored milk. I started to lament this fact, but can you imagine if candy gave cows flavored milk, how their steaks would taste?!
The world is an amazing place. But it is not an instant place. Things take time. You can not give Hershey bars to a cow and expect chocolate milk. Cows make white milk. If you want strawberry or chocolate or Shatto coffee (the best), then the flavor has to be added. The cow will keep producing white milk and flavor has to be added again… and again.
In the same way, church, this world will not instantly become Christian. We can’t legislate our faith**. It can’t be fed from the top down. Our faith is a process that works slowly as a relationship. We add the flavor of Christ to life. Having lived one day for Christ, the only way the next day will be flavored by love and sacrifice is if we live it again… and again.
- Was the Sheriff tempted to eat any of the Skittles? (Candy smell in the air, I would have been…)
- Will we soon learn that milk has been linked to diabetes?
** No matter how you feel about the recent election (our church has celebrators and marchers), the church is not victorious at the ballot box – nor defeated. As Nouwen so aptly writes, it was beyond the city walls. Far from the halls of powers. Away from the feast celebrations. With only a few crying bystanders that everything changed. This is our commission. To take up our cross. Not to rise up in power. But to rise up in sacrifice for others.