We Are Half-Hearted Creatures
Thursday, April 11, 2013
My husband's grandmother is 100% Italian, born and raised in Lucca, Italy. She didn't move to the United States until she was 25 years old. She didn't even speak English when she first arrived. And today at the age of 86, she still has a beautiful Italian accent. My husband spent a lot of time with his Nonna growing up. And one of her signature recipes was homemade pasta sauce. I'm talking real deal Italian pasta sauce that takes hours to prepare and cook.
I'll never forget the first time I had dinner at Nonna's house while Husband and I were still just dating. She made Chicken Parmesan for all her grandkids. Enough to feed the entire neighborhood though. It looked and smelled like heaven. And me, having no Italian heritage in my blood what-so-ever, thought it was so fun to be eating authentic Italian cooking with my Italian boyfriend's family.
We ate very little pasta growing up in my house. As I recall my Dad wasn't a big fan. And my Mom was a fantastic cook but we definitely had a more traditional southern comfort food kind of menu. So the extent of my experience with Italian food, especially pasta sauce, was Ragu poured on top of spaghetti. So on this day, when a giant plate of chicken and pasta piled higher than the house was set down in front of me, my mouth started watering instantly.
I took my first bite. And I could not believe how good the sauce tasted. Everything on the plate was delicious, but the sauce... oh the sauce!... it just blew me away. How did I not know it could taste like this? I wanted to drink it! I wanted to bottle it up and hoard my own personal supply. I kept asking my husband, "How could you not have told me this little piece of heaven existed?" I had been settling for Ragu all these years when Nonna's sauce was exceedingly more satisfying.
Isn't that how we are with so many things in life? We settle for crumbs when God really wants to give us the entire cake. We think over-processed, mass produced versions of things are good enough when God wants to give us a handmade, one-of-a-kind, personalized version.
His gifts just taste better. And the plans we make for ourselves pale in comparison to His plans for us. Yet we so often choose a Ragu kind of life don't we?
This year I want to expect much from my God. I want to trust that His ways are higher than mine. I want Him to show me His version of better. Where in my life am I settling for the fake stuff? What dreams or goals am I not allowing outside the box of my own limited understanding?
I love this quote by C.S. Lewis...
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C.S. Lewis
I want more of Nonna's sauce! (I mean that both literally and figuratively - I'm very hungry at the moment).