A few weeks after we arrived here in Mexico, I was privileged to help host a tract team of young people. The 4 girls that stayed in our home were a real blessing to me and I enjoyed hosting and fixing meals for them.
However, I won’t forget the night they arrived – my friend and mentor, Collette Burch, brought them over and after helping carry in their bags, she handed me the hugest pineapple I have ever seen and said, off-handedly, “Here’s a pineapple to help with their breakfast tomorrow.” No big deal, right?
But to me, standing in the foyer of my new home, with this monster pineapple staring back at me and the prickly skin pressing into my palm, it was a big deal. To be honest (embarrassingly so), I had no idea how to get this pineapple from its “monster” condition into a nice cut-glass bowl, sitting on my breakfast table. To my mother – this is not your fault. I’m sure you showed me how to do this many times and I was distracted with which tree to climb next or which football play to draw in the dirt – I was a hopeless tomboy.
But I quickly thanked Collette with a smile and carried my pineapple to the kitchen, still wondering about a plan of action. Yes, I could have asked her for help – probably should have. But my independent nature took over and I decided to not appear helpless in yet another way in this new place, this new country….I would figure this out on my own.
So the next morning long before the girls were up, I was in my kitchen with the biggest knife I own in my hand and this massive pineapple, now chilled, sitting on the countertop. With a deep breath, I began.
Later on, as the girls expressed their delight at the delicious, incredibly sweet chunks of pineapple, I sat back with a smile and wondered – “Did I really do that right?” I wasn’t sure, but it seemed passable, anyway. A few days later, I put aside my independent, I can do this streak and asked Collette, “So how do you cut up these huge pineapples?” She very efficiently told me several rather easy steps and I compared them to the “hacking away” job I had done in my kitchen. I had done some parts of the job correctly but others, I had not. How much better if I had simply asked...how much easier it would have been to say “could you give me a couple quick pointers?”….of course, she would have done it gladly.
In how many areas of my life is God standing, waiting to help me and I independently, knife in hand, forge ahead without asking His advice? How He longs to help me, how He longs to show me the right way, His way, to deal with the circumstances I am facing, but I never slow down to ask.
Lord, forgive me. As incompetent as I was with that huge pineapple, even more incompetent am I to walk this road You’ve called me to walk. Only through Your guidance and Your instruction, do I have the ability to accomplish Your purposes in my life.
I have cut up and eaten many Mexican pineapples since that morning, and I don’t think I ever make the first slice without remembering His desire to guide and help me, if I’ll only ask.