Olive Oil and Vinegar: Acquired Tastes of Ministry by Andrea Simmonds

I am 21 years old andolive-oil-and-vinegar I never gave much thought to eating healthy or trying new things until this year. The reason I’ve decided to both eat and think healthier is not because of a New Year’s resolution, but simply because I really need to be healthier. In short I have a condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and all you need to know about this is that it makes me more prone to diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease because of the way my body handles sugar (or rather doesn’t). To be honest I’ve never had much taste for healthy things. The truth is I never really found the healthy things that I liked, because when I ate them I went in with my own expectations without enjoying the food for what it is. One of these examples is olive oil and vinegar.

What I’ve found as I get older is that my tastes have changed. Things I wouldn’t have thought twice about eating I now relish. This is the case with olive oil and vinegar. I use to detest the taste of both. Vinegar with its strange bite and smell. Olive oil with its sliminess, and it always seemed impossible to get off anything that it happened to contact.  Recently I’ve discovered that if you combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil it makes a killer salad dressing. They have become my new healthy alternatives for salad.

You may be thinking what does this have to do with the price of tea in china? Well like my acquired taste for olive oil and vinegar I have found that people and experiences are acquired tastes too. This is what I have learned in ministry and basically in life. Sometimes there are things that you go into with preconceived notions of how they will turn out. But if we go into experiences without already trying to imagine the outcome, sometimes we learn a lot more and have a better time. I hate to be cliché, but you never know how something is going to turn out until you actually try it.

People are another thing that I’ve learned are acquired tastes as well. In this crazy life of 21 years I have met people that I haven’t liked, honestly, and people who I thought I wouldn’t like. Eventually I got tired of writing everyone off as a loss and decided to give people a chance. What you learn is that everyone is different and that you have to learn personality types. It doesn’t mean you have to agree absolutely with everything someone does or that you even have to like everyone you come in contact with, but you do need to try.  And even you still don’t like them you do need to love them. In the church where I’m interning our pastor has been making some very important points in his sermons that I’m hoping everyone who attends will carry with them out the doors and into the lives of others. Last Sunday we discussed the concept of loving our neighbors—not just those who are in church every Sunday or those who we have the same political views as, but those that are in darkness. The ones who need our love and more importantly His love the most are those who are struggling with drugs and alcoholism, those who are spiteful, those who are racist and/or gay, etc. Our love may have conditions, but God’s doesn’t. So we need to allow His love to work in us and through us so we can be more like Jesus. We need to be setting examples not only for those who are watching, but even those who we are working alongside. What needs to be taken away is that even though you may think something isn’t going to work out or that a person is a lost cause it doesn’t mean you should give up on them before you give them a try.  Who knows what can be your next olive oil and vinegar. Remember our cups run over with blessings; there’s no reason why some of that awesomeness shouldn’t be spilled into others. Go out and make some changes today, but first start with your own heart.

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