Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork (1,262)

September 7, 2011

I do not believe that anyone would ever start eating Chinese food if it weren’t for sweet and sour pork. For after all, the first time you walk down the line at a Chinese buffet, many of the dishes look like they’ve already been consumed and should be thrown out. If it weren’t for sweet and sour pork, most individuals would shudder and pass on Chinese food, missing out on one of the cuisnes that offers you a great delivery system for vegetables, which is not normally found in other delicacies. But sweet and sour pork sounds like it is something that we have actually eaten before, and might be able to ingest without stimulating the gag reflex.

First of all, it begins with the word “sweet.” That’s as American as “apple pie.” “Sour”—we’ve got that covered, too. Everyone likes a good glass of lemonade. And then there’s pork—an American staple, usually delivered as a fried pork chop.

Yes, the name itself leads us to believe we could actually consume this foreign entity into our system and receive it as a common taste rather than a distasteful one.

I want to be sweet and sour pork. While other people may want to slouch around being French fries, and there are folks who insist they are caviar, I am trying my best to become sweet and sour pork to the world around me, to my friends and to my family. For after all, I do have emotions. How can I become an emotional human being and be sweet and sour pork? After careful consideration and a whole bunch of living, I have realized that without being transparent about my emotions and worrying about whether they are good or bad in the moment, I become too distant or too deceptive to my fellow-human-beings.

It’s not easy to do. But it is important that we let folks know where we are emotionally before our mouths start giving away the secrets of our hearts—accidentally.

So what is the “sweet and sour pork” of a good emotional life? Share. You’d be surprised at how many people have the same fears, the same concerns that you do—and are looking for the same solutions.

How about spiritually? How can I become spiritual sweet and sour pork to my fellow travelers? This one is easy to me. Never talk about God without talking about earth. If your conversations about God always end up with references to heaven and prayer, you will be like octopus lying on a plate at a Chinese restaurant. Even with an explanation about why it’s good for someone, but no one will be able to get past the appearance. Jesus set that example—he never talked about God without an earthly explanation that was relevant and realistic to those around him. Remember, it’s not that people hate spiritual things, it’s mostly that they hate spiritual people who try to be self-righteous when they preach.

I become sweet and sour pork spiritually when I can explain the kingdom of God like it’s a TV remote.

Is there a way to become sweet and sour pork mentally? Well, here’s my opinion. If you want to come across like a genius, stop studying, stop explaining and start doing. Most of us mortals learn much more quickly by watching than we do reading. I don’t like to spend hours and hours perusing material with those I work with every day. I would rather show them how it works in my own life and let them copy and emulate in their own way.

This reminds of when one of the disciples asked Jesus where he lived.. He didn’t refer them to mapquest nor did he draw out directions on a piece of paper. His response was, “Come and see.”

The sweet and sour pork of true brain power is producing a living example instead of a bibliography.

And finally, what is the sweet and sour pork physically—in the area of my strength? I look much stronger to the world around me when I lead with my weaknesses, and then end up surprising them with how much better I did than my original report proclaimed. Every once in a while I find myself in a position where someone forces me to bowl. I don’t really have anything against the practice—just don’t find it to be something I have mastered. So instead of leading with my highest ever bowling score—173—I share with them my lower score—58—as a beginning for our potential match. For you see, it’s unlikely that I will land as low as 58, and equally unlikely that I will produce 173. But if I land at 110 I will look twice as good as advertised. And any time in life that you can look twice as good as what you claim, you will never be without friends OR opportunity.

America desperately needs politicians, preachers, pundits and people in general who will become sweet and sour pork instead of sitting in the pan, claiming to be good for everybody but not looking terribly appetizing. This is why I follow Jesus. He is the sweet and sour pork of spirituality. He takes things that are common to me and makes them palatable in a new and exciting way.

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