On more than one occasion I have mentioned the cultural impact on lives. It can impact our beliefs, our values, what we constitute as "normal" and also our understanding on food. I will provide two examples on the food. Both occurred during our time in the military. As a married couple with many a single friend, our home was constantly a bed and breakfast for some of the guys I worked with. On one occasion we were preparing a chili feed for a football game. A friend who was spending the weekend over saw me empty grocery bags on the counter as preparations began. When his eyes fell on a bag of dried beans, he asked "what are those?" I explained what they were and then asked him if he had never seen beans. He said, "I'm from Manhattan, beans come in a jar". On another occasion a friend who was from Long Island had helped dig post holes, mix cement and place posts for a backyard fence. We worked late and he stayed the night since it was a weekend. In the morning, Pam and I wanted to fix him a full out country breakfast as part of our thank you for all his hard work. The breakfast included all the trimmings including biscuits and gravy. He looked at the gravy and asked "what's that?" I told him it was country gravy. Then he asked "what do you do with it?" He was familiar with turkey gravy or brown gravy as part of a dinner but had never had gravy in the morning for breakfast.
"What do you do with it?" is a question that makes me smile every time I recall that moment which happened about thirty-five years ago. As I thought of the question, my mind turned to what we have been given by the Lord. All we have is from Him. This includes the spiritual gifts that we are empowered with and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I think that we sometimes muddle along not fully putting to use what He has given us because we are unsure of what to do with it.
Until we put these gifts to use, they are not accomplishing anything. It is the same with the what we learn from our study of Scripture. The result of our study is tepid at best if we do nothing to apply what we have learned. James reminds us James 1:22-24 [But be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his face in the mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.] Let us remain mindful of what we learn in our studies and of what God has equipped us with. I once heard a quote that stayed with me. Information without application does not equal transformation. What we learn, what we have been given requires that we put it to use for HIs kingdom.
Have a wonderful Thursday applying what you have learned and what you have been given by the Lord.