Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: When food talks to your soul

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, where we breathe in the moments of life that show us a glimpse of the grander scheme, no matter how big or small.

Bigger Picture Moment

You can link up your moment with Maegan this week. And next week, I'll be hosting. So please come back and share your Bigger Picture Moment next week right here! {And can I encourage you to take a few moments and check out the other writers who link up? I'm never sorry after I read the fabulous ladies who share their moments.}

Monday morning slammed into my tired body when Baby E. woke up at 6:45 a.m.

And because babies have no volume control, my preschooler bounded out of his room just a few minutes after we made our way downstairs.

After ten nights of interrupted sleep brought to me by a teething, snotty baby and a few days of infection from a clogged milk duct also brought to me by a teething, snotty baby, I could only muster the energy to do one thing: turn on a movie and plant my rear on the couch until the coffee kicked in.

We watched Veggie Tales: The Story of Jonah as I sat on the couch mentally trying to construct a to-do list that stretched beyond a few bullet points numbering past ten all while trying to will myself to accomplish everything on it.

I had to write a post that had been dwelling in my head. I had to write meeting notes for our staff meeting at the business. I had to answer e-mails. I had to get some marketing stuff together for the business. I had to get groceries and presents and food for the boys' birthday party. And the list spanned on and on past 10. And I found myself totally overwhelmed by the number of things I had to do instead of the actual things that needed to be done.


I always get sidetracked by numbers.

And so many times numbers are the actual motivators behind the things on my lists.

Write a post {don't people who read my blog expect that?}

Staff meeting notes {must adequately train and motivate so everyone is happy because we need our members to stay members and our staff to remain staff}

Answer e-mails {e-mails about business and advertising and ultimately payment}

You get the drift.

Numbers can be so consuming.

The movie was drawing to a close as I pondered these exhausting thoughts.

I tuned into the flick momentarily because it was the first time I'd seen the very end as we hadn't owned the DVD for more than a week.

If you don't know the message of Jonah, I'll give you a little recap because it's necessary for context.

Jonah is a prophet, played by Larry the Cucumber in the Veggie Tales movie.
God wants Jonah to go to Nineveh to share a message of mercy and compassion
because the Ninevites were not living in a very kind way. Jonah doesn't like the
Ninevites, and he doesn't want to go. Jonah tries to run away from God, and he
ends up being swallowed by a fish but then asks God for a second chance and is
essentially thrown up by the fish. He then goes to Nineveh, and he shares God's
message. The Ninevites embrace God's message, and Jonah is absolutely beside
himself when God doesn't destroy the city.

At this point in the movie Jonah is bellowing to God, wishing God would take out the Ninevites. When the city isn't destroyed, Jonah wishes he were dead.

His traveling companion Khalil, a half caterpillar, half worm, looks at Jonah, completely exasperated and remarks that it's quite ironic that Jonah is so irritated that God gave the Ninevites a second chance because God also gave Jonah a second chance.

The caterpillar tells Jonah that Jonah's got an attitude and heart problem. He then tells Jonah he's pathetic and says,

"I wanted to be big and important just like you. But the world doesn't need more people who are big and important. The world needs more people who are nice and compassionate and merciful."

And as the caterpillar lectured Jonah the cucumber, a wave of truth washed over me.


When I'm so focused with numbers, so focused on their importance {how many people read this blog, how many members work out at my club, how much money is in our bank account, how I have to be here at this time or there on this date} I'm usually too concerned with trying to be big and important.

And when I'm too intent on trying to be big and important, serving myself {the me, me me} I know I'm not focused on serving others and my heart isn't focused on being compassionate and merciful {making meaningful connections with the people who come here to read, valuing each member personally who works out at our club, taking the opportunities to connect with people during business transactions that sustain and provide for us}.

And people are always, always, always more important than numbers, than being big and important.

But somehow I'd not realized the connection between numbers and my own heart until this hard-to-admit and sort-of-embarrassing-to-relay bigger picture moment was served on a plate and spoon fed to me by talking vegetables, select fruit and an insect in the form of a half worm, half caterpillar.

Sorta takes food for thought to an entirely different meaning, doesn't it?


  1. God put that cucumber in your life to teach you...and in turn teach me, too. Thanks for the daily lesson. We could all be reminded to serve others more.

  2. Um, yes, He can use ANYthing to teach us an important lesson. I've been known to be convicted by Veggie Tales too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Those veggies are so smart! Thank you!

  4. You live your life in which you are constantly searching deeper within yourself in order to learn and grow. You amaze me time and time again.

  5. That is what I love about coming here, I always leave with so much to think about and rightfully so because you are a very wise lady. Your inquisitiveness, honesty and willingness to push the enveloppe on your own thoughts inspires me to do the same and to be a better blogger. So thank you!

  6. This made me smile.
    I love the lessons we learn while sitting on the couch :)
    But ultimately, yes, your bigger picture is such a good reminder.

  7. We were talking last night - you and I - about how many blogs there are to read and how overwhelming it can be to try and absorb it all. (More numbers.) We're bombarded with so much these days that it's hard to draw the line and take that mental (or even physical) step back. But it's so necessary to keep our purpose properly aligned, isn't it?

    Great thoughts - thank you for the reminder.

  8. I too learn many many things from good ol' larry the cucumber and bob the tomato and occasionally junior asparagus! Very profound message, God is always good to teach us and remind us of those things we need to hear and he never fails to use every type of resource, even talking veggies!Thanks for sharing this post!

  9. Veggie Tales is a great teacher for me. : )

    A great lesson to share--we can do anything because with God, anything is possible.

  10. It is odd to me that I have never turned on veggie tales for my kiddos. Weird, since I really like that show (for the exact reasons you wrote about) so thanks for reminding me exactly why I should wipe down my old cd's and let those veggies teach my boys (AND ME!) a lesson or two.

    Great post! Great writing... Just great :)

  11. oh, nineveh's been on my heart this week, too. i've been thinking about this caedmon's call song:

    The grass looked greener on the other side
    So I tried to, snatch myself from your hand
    Caught a boat to anywhere but Nineveh
    And, well you know, I got spit back on dry land.

    Give me purity and give me continence
    But oh no, not yet.
    Like a coin hiding in the corner
    Trying not to be swept
    And I was trying not to be swept.

    Kicking against these goads
    Sure did cut up my feet
    And didn't your hands get bloody
    As you washed them clean

    Here I am again, back where I began
    Try as I may I can't get away from you
    And all of these roads lead me to roam,
    Bring me back home.
    Here I am again, back where I began.

    So you have yourself your ninety nine
    Isn't that enough for you?
    Still you followed me to the shadowed valley
    Carried me on your shoulders too.

    I've done the work of Sisyphus
    Thinking that I could get over this hill
    But the one thing I can't get over now
    Is the force of your will.

    God is so good! thanks for sharing your heart here.

  12. This really resonates with me. How many of us devote our time to bigger and better only to miss out on the small and sweet and fleeting?

  13. I so needed this, Hyacynth! Thank you! Perhaps I need to start looking for Veggie Tales on Netflix {they're always so funny anyway!}. I've been feeling the same way lately...having to slow down, step back, and re-evaluate where to put my efforts!

  14. Ahhhh.... now that's a message I needed to hear and be reminded of. It is so easy to get focused and stressed on certain things that we so easily forget what's important. Yay!

    And here's to more sleep!


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