Sunday, February 03, 2013
Sunday Afternoon Tea
To be honest, unless the Chicago Bears are in it, I don't pay a lot of attention. Although football is my favorite sport to watch on TV with my husband. Except I also like to watch skiing. Neither of which I'd want to actually DO mind you.
As my family knows... my idea of a ski trip has always been being curled up next to a fireplace... sipping hot chocolate and discussing Schaeffer with Sven. But I digress...
Did you know there is a shortage of chicken wings, caused by the drought and the fact each chicken only provides two appendages? Due to the shortage, the price of chicken wings has risen steeply.
Now, I enjoy chicken wings, myself. Albeit not the hot wings my son and his friends can scarf down by the dozen but a bowl full of tangy Asian wings... yum. But when a shortage of the appetizers makes the national news, that is something else.
I remember when chicken wings were the least wanted part of the chicken at the dinner table, with the possible exception of the neck (which I use for stock, anyway). Chicken wings were cheap, one could purchase a huge package of them for making soup... which I did quite often.
I still can't wrap my thinking around the price I see on the package these days, when a package of wings can cost as much (or more) than a whole chicken. Not to mention the cost of the wings if they have already been prepared and all one must do is pop them in a 400 degree oven.
What does any of this have to do with Sunday Tea?
Well, this has been part of my pondering this week. I've been thinking of how our Culture can assign a value to an object or a person.
Like chicken wings...
If my mother were alive and walked into a grocery store today, she'd think people were crazy spending so much money on a piece of chicken with so little meat... one would think they would at least use chicken legs... buffalo chicken legs... has a ring to it.
In the long run, the price of chicken wings has little to do with my life. However, the value Culture has placed on other aspects of life... or taken away... has a great affect on all of us.
Some of the changes are just silly. For instance, I was watching a cooking show recently when the chef answered a letter from a viewer who scolded him on using salt in his cooking. She never used salt for everyone knows how bad it is for you!
This came in the same week I had been reading in An Everlasting Meal about the importance of salt to our cooking. Remember... salt was once held in so much value by the Culture that soldiers were paid in salt, thus the term... "worth his salt". Jesus valued salt, he reminded us we are to be the "salt of the earth".
Salt has become an enemy because of its' misuse by the food industry where excess cheap sodium is added to the extreme for flavor. Think of the difference between Campbell's chicken noodle from Mother's homemade chicken soup.
When the Culture cannot differentiate between normal and excess... we are in trouble. What is the result? A government now deciding how large a drink can be sold at McDonald's and what our children can eat while at school.
Have you ever read a women's magazine from the mid-1960s and prior years? The value of homemaking was very prevalent in those magazines. Even if a wife had no children at home, no one ever thought twice of her enjoying making a home for her husband.
By the time I graduated from high school, young women were told they could "bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan" and thus began the Culture's value on women who worked long hours at the office. It took awhile for us to realize we were still expected to clean the house and make dinner, thus it was also the beginning of women who were always exhausted!
Now, some differences in Culture have been good for if one reads a Dicken's novel... one sees how the poor were treated, including children. The movie Amazing Grace showed us the process of changing a Culture which accepted slavery.
I will always be thankful to those who took part in the Civil Rights Movement, thus changing the Culture for good. I remember reading Condoleezza Rice's autobiography A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family, and Me and being appalled that such discrimination occurred in this country. She shows so well how she was taught not to hate in spite of living in the most segregated city in America.
Have you ever watched a newscast about a stamp selling for a million dollars and you stop to think of the fact it is just a sliver of paper with a little glue? But Culture has assigned a high value upon it.
All this to ask myself... what do I value?
I am constantly having to remind myself that Culture's approval is not necessarily Truth. For a matter of fact, I have been known (and my daughter does the same) to purchase a book because it has bad reviews on Amazon... we just look to see who is giving the bad reviews. ;)
We live in a Culture today in which those of us who hold to Biblical Values find ourselves constantly swimming upstream. The Media makes every attempt to make us feel silly, out of touch, stupid, uninformed, and ignorant. They understand if one hears the same thing over and over they may believe it.
Now more than ever we must make a decision to embrace what Schaeffer called "true Truth". As we watch the news or listen to well known talk shows, we must be aware that the Culture in which we live has greatly shifted from Biblical Truth. Oprah alone has redefined truth to many people who were not anchored in what is Truth.
Over the years... a little at a time... a comedy here and a drama there and a documentary thrown in... morning talk shows and books read by college students... have changed Culture.
The increased price in chicken wings is but a small inconvenience in the overall scope of life and death and everything that comes in between. I'm willing to let the formerly unappreciated poultry pieces have their season of glory. They are a wonderful canvas for delicious sauces of all kinds, after all.
But on more important matters like how the media wants to teach my children what is Truth and what is of Value and what is Wisdom and Whom we are to follow... I plan to be Salt as He commanded. Tell that to the food police!
We all need to ask how we can affect the Culture for Him.
From the high school or college student to the Grammie who has time to pray for those in power as well as her family... we all can do something each day!
I remember a well known woman who worked in a Christian organization being asked why she works so hard when it seems impossible to stop the downfall of society. She said that we may not stop it but at least we can work hard to slow it down. That's something to ponder...