The Avocado

We recently have been introducing Baby Roo to solid food. I was hesitant at first and wanted to wait as long as possible, but in the end decided to go ahead as more of a sensory play opportunity and bonding experience with the family than an actual eating experience. {Translation: I would put the food in front of her, but would not force her to eat and instead just let her play. If some happened to make its way in her mouth, all the better.}

We started with soft boiled egg yolks, but just in the last couple of weeks graduated to avocado, which required a trip to the grocery store.

Now – I have no experience with avocado. None whatsoever. I used to be an extremely picky eater, and only in the last year was brave enough to try homemade guacamole (yum!). However, enjoying a finished product is not the same as understanding where it comes from. Staring blankly at the organic produce section, I had no clue what to look for. Firm? Soft? Green? Brown? Bumpy? Smooth? After what seemed a lifetime, I went with my gut and grabbed some “pretty” avocados, thinking I could do more research when I got home.

Once home, Google informed me that the best avocado was one that would give slightly when squeezed (but not squish). And, of course, the ones I had chosen, albiet pretty, were rock hard. So, I pulled an avocado out of the produce bag, set it in a dark cupboard, and waited for it to ripen.

A day.

Two days.

Still rock hard.

By this time, I was getting pretty bored of egg yolks (it had been a a month!) and was excited for this new opportunity for Baby Roo (and my camera). Apparently I had chosen the most stubborn avocado in existence, as it just refused to ripen.

Then it hit me.

I bought FOUR avocados.

I was so focused on the one I had chosen and pulled out of the bag – I forgot that there were several other ones just waiting on the counter.

Sure enough – there was an avocado ripe and ready, perfect to cut and mash up.

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Strange, isn’t it? I was so focused on that one avocado, my mind had completely discounted the other ones that were just as available and just as good. There was nothing special about that first avocado I had set aside; I had just grabbed it first, and thus my entire focus was set on it.

Have you ever forgotten about the other avocados?

Have you ever set your mind on something so staunchly, that even when it wasn’t working out or wasn’t the right choice for you, you couldn’t see the other options just waiting for you to pick them up?

I admit that this is a fault of mine. I get so wrapped up in a certain set of plans that I am rigid, unable to adjust when things turn out differently than I had imagined. I get so set on that one thing that I go blind to everything else around me, sometimes failing to see the bigger picture outside of my present circumstances.

Oftentimes, when those things don’t work out, I look to God and ask “Why?” Why didn’t this work out? Why did You lead me here? What is Your purpose in setting these struggles in front of me?

But, really? He didn’t set those struggles in front of me. Maybe He led me to the kitchen. But He didn’t make me focus on that one avocado. He provided me with plenty to choose from, and in my limited mind, I kept my attention on the one – even though He knew there was another one that was better for me on the counter. Heck, maybe He even tried to tell me – but I was too deaf in my stubbornness to listen.

Eventually, that first avocado ripened and was ready to eat. Sometimes in life that happens, and all we need is patience. Sometimes, the first avocados go bad while we aren’t paying attention. Sometimes, the first avocados never work out at all. Heck, sometimes they are probably even bad to begin with.

But God will always make sure there is a fresh avocado ready and waiting for us. If only we take the time to let Him show us where it is.

And if He doesn’t leave us a fresh avocado?

Well… I’m sure there is a crunchy carrot, or a crisp cucumber, or maybe even a bunch of fresh sugar snap peas instead.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

 

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