Have you guys ever watched “Chopped”? It is my favorite show on television. And Netflix. And apparently Hulu, too.
It’s a food competition show where four chefs are given baskets of mystery ingredients and only 20-30mins to create something great. It’s amazing. Sometimes the basket things are semi-normal like chickpeas or blood oranges, but then sometimes it’s cotton candy, frozen peas for the desert round, or chicken feet.
Also I realize that the beginning of Lent might be a bad time to post about a tv show and food buuuuut…
The contestants vary in years of experience, location, style of cooking, and backgrounds but one thing is almost always the same. When asked why they want to compete they say, “I’m looking for validation” or “I’m looking for affirmation” or “I’m here to prove x, y, and z to whomever”. All of them are looking for confirmation that what they are doing is worthwhile, that they are worthwhile.
And then, because I get too emotionally involved, I worry about the contestants who are chopped and kicked off of the show. Are they going to be okay? Was their idea of worth riding on this show? What are they going to do now????
And I think it can be easy for me to think, good thing I don’t think that way, good thing I don’t place my worth into food based competitions. While that statement is technically true, I do place a lot of my worth in other things. How successful is my Bible study? How much do these people around me like me? How much have I accomplished today?
As human beings we like to do things that can be quantified so we can evaluate the work we’ve done. But that rarely works. We fail to “measure up” and then we assume that we aren’t enough. That because we haven’t accomplished something, we are worthless.
So I love watching “Chopped” because it’s food based competition and that’s a love language of mine, but also because it inspires creativity and unique thinking. But I also sort of hate watching it because I can’t stand to see people’s hearts break when they don’t win. I want to jump into the tv and remind them that they are still good! Even losers are good!
Our works and achievements and honest attempts and rare successes are important, yes. But why we are doing them also matters. Are we trying to prove our importance, are we trying to earn the love and affirmations of others?
Jesus loves us deeply. He wants us to do well and succeed, but sometimes we need failure to bring us back to reality and back to Him. What propels our actions should be love for Him and love for one another, and not fear of not being enough.
This Lent, I’m continuing to pray about my sacrifices and additions to ensure that I’m doing them out of love of our Lord and not because I’m trying to prove something. I am enough because He has made me good and He wants me to continue to strive to become the person I was made to be.