Blogger's Choice: Spinach Pie
Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Brother Jerry Valenti. He chose his article "Spinach Pie," originally published on December 4, 2012.
He says, "I chose this article because I think it's a good illustration of how we need to make sure the primary ingredient of The Church (God) is not left out of our worship services. As a side benefit, nobody makes spinach when I visit their homes now."
Some years ago, I was in Detroit, Michigan on business, and the group I was with decided to go out to dinner in an area of Detroit known as Greektown. I was somewhat concerned as I'm not someone who typically likes to experiment with different cuisines, and as I started looking over the menu, my worst fears were realized as I desperately searched for something I thought I could eat. I finally settled on an entrée known as spinach pie.
For those who don't know me, I should point out that if I were to list my 100 favorite foods, spinach would rank about 427. So when I told my family about my meal, they were curious as to why I would have ordered that. I told them, "Once I took the spinach out, it was fine."
You're probably thinking, "How ridiculous! Why would anyone remove the spinach from spinach pie?" And you would be right. Although I enjoyed the rest of it (crust, cheese, etc.), once the primary ingredient was removed, what was left wasn't really spinach pie as the chef intended it.
I would like to compare this to The Church. There are many things we enjoy about being part of The Church (fellowship, singing, feeling like part of a family, etc.). However, we need to remember that the primary ingredient in The Church is the Lord. If we don't keep Him as an active part of our lives, what we are experiencing isn't really The Church as God intended it to be.
Perhaps it sounds like motherhood and apple pie (spinach pie?) to say that the Lord needs to be part of The Church. Yet, consider the following:
• Our church meetings are so much more exciting when the Lord's Spirit is there. Do we pray during the week for this to occur?
• There are many illustrations in scripture and in personal testimonies of how the hand of God is moved by fasting and prayer. Do we participate in fasting and prayer?
• Speaking of scripture, do we take advantage of having the wisdom of God available to us in the Bible and Book of Mormon? With all the electronic tools available today, even if we're not one to crack open a book, we can easily search and find scriptures that are applicable to us on any given day.
• Do we seek God's will in important decisions in our lives? If so, and God's will differs from what we want to do, who wins?
• Do we take the lessons learned in church and apply them to our lives to guide our behavior? If not, we may fall into the category described in a book I recently saw advertised: "The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn't Exist."
As I mentioned earlier, it is possible to enjoy The Church without doing any of the above. However, we are then enjoying it more as a social activity that helps us keep in touch with friends or a form of entertainment in which we enjoy a good presentation or good music rather than the life-changing experience of having a relationship with God, which Christ died to make possible for us. Let's not settle for the "crust" when we can have the whole pie — let the Lord be an active part of your life!
Summer Reading Challenge Daily Assignment
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.