Pepper In My Teeth

It looked scrumptious. The plate held vibrant hues of green, red, yellow, and purple. My tomato and avocado omelette was worthy of an Instagram upload.
Shortly after Andrew (my terrific tattooed waiter) slid the plate onto the slab of pine did tragedy take a toll. Instinctively, I reached for the pepper grinder. I inherited the “excess pepper trait” from my grandfather. Not a moment after I began vigorously turning the grinding mechanism, the darn gadget split in two. Pepper balls coated the formerly alluring platter and rolled onto the table.
My cheeks turned pink for all but fifteen seconds, surprisingly. Normally, my blushing is endless. Having accidents like this pepper “catastrophe” is not uncommon for this girl. I should cut Revlon powder out of the daily routine and save twelve dollars a year.
Searching for a sympathetic soul, I tried to play it cool. The J.Crew couple at the table next to me didn’t offer a glance. They had been quietly snickering since before I ordered my green tea. A waitress came my way when she saw me sweeping up the black beads. I declined her gracious offer for a re-make. The wait staff was overwhelmingly kind and the manager also offered me a new omelette. Three offers later, I still declined. They insisted on fresh avocado, and I had no choice but to oblige.
Scraping the food was tedious and I munched on a couple of balls, but I couldn’t waste it. I hate wasting food. The extent of my “food saving” may be repulsive by Western standard. I eat whatever I drop on the floor. I don’t think twice about finishing Sophie and Mia’s leftover waffles. If I don’t like something, I smile and swallow. Liver in Uganda once each week was one of my greatest feats.
When did this happen? When did I become a scavenger? It began when I started internationally traveling. It is only honorable to eat what is in front of you in third world places. They often kill their only goat for you.
Even Jesus advocates conservation. In The Book of John, He tells the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
Jesus doesn’t want anything reusable to be thrown out. This extends further than the food category. Clothing, recyclable papers and plastics, furniture. Why should He discriminate?
This concept goes further than tangible materials. It is not His wish to see a life wasted. He desires for us to live with full purpose.
More than hoard, we should savor. Savor is more palatable, like my tomato and avocado omelette. We need to use what we have been given to its abundance.
The Apostle Peter (if you believe he wrote the book) asserts, “Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
We were not meant to waste time by wondering. Life has exploratory phases, but we must not waste too much time. We have great things to do. Let’s discover those gifts and step into savoring abundant life through relishing in them. He has given us the task of distributing His grace.
I can still taste the pepper in my teeth.

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