Tomatoes, I love them; but, only the fresh garden ones. Tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches….yum. Somewhere, my childhood best-friend Alicia, is gagging. Any-who, I love grilled cheese and tomato, sliced tomato with biscuits and gravy, anyway I can eat it. I am the Bubba Gump of fresh tomatoes. Now, why should you care?
It reminds me of a simpler time when a snack was a tomato and a salt shaker. Anybody remember that? Snacks didn’t come out of a box and dinner didn’t come through the window of your car. We had gardens and never complained of being bored.
Just this past week, my sister was explaining the common phenomenon of binge watching Netflix to my brother. He doesn’t own a TV (not because of a lack of income but because of an abundance of wisdom). So, he was clearly blown away by society’s need to binge watch anything. His words were, “A good job would correct that. If you work all day, you’re too tired to do that.” His job is fairly complicated, but that is a blog for another day.
Lately, I’ve been experiencing a strong sense of nostalgia due to this season of life. As I have sorted through old photographs and sifted through tear-filled memories, I long for that simpler time. Work was hard, but the bills were paid. Gardens were grown and families worked it together. Family history was shared while shucking corn or shelling peas. My granny shared hysterical antics of her crazy Aunt Zuler. I never got to meet her but pretty sure her craziness runs through my veins.
Food was fresh so nobody reported an allergy to red dye. Kids played after school, but homework was always completed. Manners and respect were an important part of learning. AND, families served God, attended church, with Sunday being treated as God’s Holy day. We didn’t go to church to be entertained but to worship God. It was about Him, not us. Are you fortunate enough to remember this?
When did it get so complicated? Now, parents are both working to make ends meet. Family dinners don’t exist because there are too many extra curricular events to attend. Gardens aren’t planted and kids eat food from a box filled with chemicals and sugar. No one listens to their grandparents or knows their ancestry. They have to send off for it from some genealogy site. Google has replaced the family recipes and going to church is an occasional event for family entertainment instead of worship. And, many people think I am crazy for eating a tomato sandwich.
So, when summer rolls around and fresh tomatoes are everywhere, I dive into those juicy red fruits and remember a simpler time. As I am whipping up a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, I can still see my childhood kitchen. I can hear the squabbling of my siblings and me. Fresh vegetables are in milk crates and something is frying on the stove. And, maybe, just maybe, our church family will invite us over for homemade ice cream.
I want to invite you to slow down a bit. Savor the simple pleasures of homegrown veggies and the sound of a turtle dove. Take a few extra minutes to spend with family. Get back to your Bible, prayer and worship with God’s children. Be grateful for what you have and thank God daily for it. Find your joy in the Lord because the material world will only bring more dissatisfaction. Embrace contentment in God. He has blessed us with way more than we notice. Take your focus off of self and turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Thank you Lord for juicy tomatoes.