I used to believe that everything that took a process was bologna. Get it? Processed meat?
Yes, this statement was a bit naive, but naivety is a part of most people's stories.
No, this blog post is not about nutrition or food, although you could learn something about those things.
In recent times I've seen more and more people with this trending thought: things that come quickly are not always the best for us. Have you noticed that too? Here are some examples:
1. Third-wave coffee. If your coffee is from a single country, region, farmer or varietal (plant type) it is most likely third wave coffee. If you've tasted fruit in your coffee without adding sugary flavor you've most likely found the third wave. My point is that third wave coffee takes time and requires a different process than Folgers. Sometimes it takes longer to make something with better quality.
2. Fast food? In recent times people have been wondering how on earth chicken nuggets could be good for us if we don't even know what they're made of. Imagine that, chicken that is made of something other than chicken meat. Amazing! #Sarcasum
In recent years McDonalds closed all of their stores in Bolivia because the locals couldn't wrap their heads around how food could be prepared "fast." In their minds the local Bolivians were asking "How could fast food be good for you? Good things take time and process."
Fariss Ryan Designs.
Let's quickly define "process." The word "process" can have both negative or positive connotations. It can be seen as mystery meat to some and a beautiful organic garden to others. The beginning and end of "process" can be blurry for us, because the word "process" can be seen as both the plan OR the actions. I believe that process is easily understood when you imagine making a cake.
Process can be either the "putting the ingredients together" part or the "recipe." Still, you don't need to be a philosopher or a baker to understand that some cakes have been over or under processed. We know that adding too much of an ingredient or baking a cake too long will yield negative results. Some recipes yield negative results and some are wondrous masterpieces. Process can be the craft or the recipe. In the rest of this blog, I'm speaking about the craft (doing), and not the recipe (planning).
Again, this blog is not about food. Allow me to clarify. Here are my current understandings of process and its place in our lives. Somethings that requires a process are indeed bologna. I went too far on one side of the spectrum when I said that everything processed was bologna. I've heard it said by many an old 'wise' man that "All good things in life require process." Some of you may have heard this phrase: "Life is not about the destination but the journey." But, for the sake of the Y generation I'm going to ask, "Why is it so?" "Are there good things in life that require no process at all?"
For starters, here are some goodly and wonderful things that do require a process.
The aging and fermentation of any kind of wine, beer, kombucha, sourkraut, or kimchi. The making of cheese, the construction of beautiful architecture, good communication with your spouse, natural vegetative growth, the water cycle, the digestion of organic matter, some healing and restoration take process.
In fact, these and possibly most parts of life take a process that we participate in, but what about the other side of the equation?
Here are some things that do not take require a process. (Maybe you can discover some more).
Miracles, getting a gift, spontaneous combustion, the presence of Love in your life, the reality of Truth, or the gift of life (ie. your heart beat). Your sinlessness, your forgiveness, your sanctification, your belief, your love, your salvation, your acceptance by and your union with God via the process that Christ went through on the cross.
The process required for these things, except spontaneous combustion, was finished before you arrived on this little blue dot.
Still, whether you like it or not, you had/ have nothing to do with the existence, gift or the process of these things. They just happened for you, without any of your own self efforts.
Isn't it oddly comforting to remember that there are good things in life that don't depend on the sweat of your own brow? In fact, if you like the Bible check this out:
James 1:17 "Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. The Father doesn't change like the shifting shadows produced by the sun and the moon."
Did you catch that? Every good thing comes from our Father.
God doesn't "change" or become "processed."
It's our perceptions of Him that are transformed and recollected (processed).
So, for the initial question: Is process bologna? I have two answers:
1. "Not unless it has to do with the status of your relationship with Love (God)."
(Imagine the Judaic law here. Jews had to go through a process to be accepted by God. In Christ all are accepted no matter how offended that statement might make you).
2. "No, process is not always bologna, they are not synonyms."
Let's get contemplative:
Some of these things that I've stated might have been hard to swallow, but that doesn't mean that they are simply virtual (position-al) and not actually true (requiring no act-ivation by you).
If Love is a noun, than process is not required for Love to be inside of you or activated by you.
If the kingdom of heaven is like some seeds sown into an entire field, then the seed is not any more a kingdom if it grows. A kingdom is a kingdom, and the seed has been sown, no process is required for the kingdom to be a kingdom. (See Mat 13:24 and the surrounding passages).
Here's a quote from Robert Capon:
"...Do not try to cast a chill on the warmth of that Good News by telling me my last quotation means that the kingdom is at work only in 'them that believe.' To make belief the touchstone of the kingdom's operation is simply to turn faith into just one more cold work. Of course we must believe; but only because there is nothing left for us to do but to believe." (pg. 104, Kingdom Grace Judgement, Paradox, Outrage and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus).
Love is not a process. It is either love or hate, regardless of if you are learning to let Love.
Belief is not a process, it is either belief or doubt, regardless of if you believe or learn more of the Truth.
Speaking of Truth, it is not a process, he is a person. He is either truth or falsity. Truth doesn't become more true or more himself by any means. Truth will only become more apparent as we train ourselves to see him or hear it.
IF YOU TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THIS READ, (AND THANKS FOR READING BY THE WAY), TAKE THIS:
LIFE IS NOT SIMPLY ABOUT THE PROCESSION, IT IS ALSO ABOUT THE PROCESSED.
THE WORD PROCESSED LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE "IT IS FINISHED!"
THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS OF A FINISHED PROCESS.