On most food packaging, we see an expiration date field. But it’s a suggestion, not a limit, right? For instance, take a speed limit – do we REALLY cap our maximum driving speed at that top number, or do we take it as a “good idea” that we often ignore – like a “speed suggestion?” Just a rhetorical question…because we know the law says we should not exceed the speed limit.
The Parable of the Ashy Carrots: A Life or Death Situation?
Last week, I ate some ashy-looking baby carrots. Why, you may ask? They were probably dry because the expiration date on the bag said February 20 and I was eating them in March. Just a possibility… But the reason I ate them? Well, I admit that was just a decision against my better judgment.
Sure, I saw the expiration date. But I don’t think I even paused before saying, “Oh well, I’m sure they’re alright,” and proceeded to toss them into my lunch bag. Fast-forward to afternoon nibble ‘n’ nosh time at my desk when I got to the second-to-last ashy carrot – it had a funny smell, was mashed up, and – ewwww! – is that a rotten spot? Yup, with that weird taste, I could tell that it had definitely expired. RIP, ashy carrots. RIP. I threw that fatefully icky bite and the remaining 1.5 carrots away as my tummy rumbled ominously.
Today, I’m eating baby carrots from a new bag that will expire later this month. What a novel concept, eh? They are bright orange and they look happy (and hydrated). They sound crisp and crunchy as they prepare to jump into my tummy. I’m sure the beta carotene and other nutrients are intact. These healthy carrots don’t have an undercover agenda to cripple my innards. So why on earth did I first choose the sickly-looking carrots the first time around? I guess I was teetering on a slippery slope, taking a risk I thought I could afford. Thankfully, nothing horrible happened after eating those ashy carrots (though I shudder at the memory of that horrific taste). But we take similar risks with other things when God has clearly shown us the best choice for our lives. So we have to consistently choose righteousness and obedience…and shun ashy carrots. Selah. Because there’s often much more at stake than our tummies…
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”
“In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”
© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart