Pickles. Sweet, dill, kosher, bread and butter, gherkins; take your pick. I have been a pickle fan since childhood. The simple addition of this food can genuinely enhance the dining experience. Some people are prone to one kind or another, while others seem to enjoy them all. Oft, the food associated with the meal may well determine the choice. A big dill pickle with a juicy hamburger or a sweet pickle with a tuna fish sandwich would be palate pleasers for yours truly. However, I presume no rules that might govern the selection.

The debate as to whether the pickle is a fruit or a vegetable reminds us that sometimes the simplest things can be the most complicated. However, the fact a pickle starts out as a cucumber startled and confounded me as a child. How could this be? Well, maturity yielded lessons in food preparation. The type of spices and mixtures to which the cucumbers are submitted affect the final product. All of the recipes seem to include some kind of vinegar. The additional ingredients determine the pickle.

I began to think about how we are like pickles. Different shapes and sizes, yet similar. We all have bumps, none of us arrive silky smooth. The process of life pickles us all. The ingredients we remain in tends to make us sweet or sour. Unlike the cucumber, we get to choose the brine and/or fermenting. The material we read, the things we watch, the conversations in which we participate, the influence of relationships and recreations, and the way we think all serve as spices that contribute to the kind of person we become. Hard times come to us all—disappointments, failures, tragedies, disease, and bad luck—which might be likened to the vinegar to which all pickles fall prey. However, to stew in the wrong brew will result in a sour disposition that may only be tolerated by a few. Let us be people who can be enjoyed, whatever the occasion, because of our time soaking up the Savior.

Pastor Lew