As a Senior citizen, I often think back to my
childhood and the way we improvised, to compensate for lack of money. I
smile when I remember the things my brothers and sisters and I did for
snacks, so many years ago. It was during the years of the great
depression and store bought snacks were out of the question. We had to
make up our own.
It was about the time when potato chips were first coming into the food chain. They were just a dream to us. Dip was unheard of so we didn't miss it either. One of our favorite snacks was rhubarb. My parents always had lots of it.
We would go to the patch, pull up a juicy looking red stalk, and enjoy a treat. It was really sour but we had a way of making it taste good. We would peal off the thin red skin and then, with a little pile of salt in the palm of our other hand, we had a delicious snack food with dip. We didn't call it dip we just called it good. We loved to eat things with salt.
A salt shaker and a nice ripe tomato, right out of the garden, was a delightful combination. We even ate salt on our water melon, apples and grapefruit among other things.
We did not know that too much salt was not good for us. "Salt or sodium chloride is defined as a soft silver-white metallic chemical element that reacts readily with other substances." We didn't care about the definition we just knew it made sour rhubarb taste good. We didn't worry about life we just enjoyed it.
Here are some neat things God did when he created salt. He put salt in the ocean and salt in the land. Then to make life interesting he left us to figure some things out. The Bonneville (30,000 acres) salt flats in Utah are a place so barren that not even the simplest forms of life can exist.
Why is it that nothing will grow on the salt flats on land but many kinds of foods grow in the salty ocean? Why doesn't the food taken from salt water taste salty? This is God's secret but here is what we do with it. We take seafood out of the salt water and season it for eating with earth salt. We even extract salt from sea water and use it to salt the fish that once lived there but are not salty. If vegetation could grow on the salt flats would it taste salty? God has a sense of humor and a reason for everything he does.
One day Jesus introduced salt to his disciples in a very special way. Many times He used simple everyday things to teach profound truth. He gave them a simple formula for effective service. They could be either successful or worthless by the way they used the salt he told them about. It was a surprisingly simple truth that would shape their lives forever.
Can you imagine their surprise when he told them that they were "the salt of the earth" (Matt 5:13). He did not say "be salt". He said you "are salt". How important was that? He was talking about Character and reliability in their way of life. He reminded them that salt that has no flavor is only good for filler for the path that people walk on. His whole meaning for them was that they should be "an element of flavor in an otherwise tasteless world".
Whether it is snack food or health food, it is important for us to eat things that are healthy for our bodies. God provided food for our bodies and also for our souls. He gave us his Word to feed on for spiritual strength. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can develop the Christian character and reliability Jesus spoke to the disciples about.
Just as salt changes the flavor of food, we can be used of God to be, "an element of flavor" that takes the bitterness out of this rhubarb world.