Thursday, January 18, 2007

Compromise Cooking

"What's your favorite game?"
"What's your favorite movie?"
"What's your favorite soft drink?"

These are questions I'm bombarded with daily from one of my students. He's an amazing young man, with an attitude that would put the most educated man to shame. Though he has issues with reading and writing, he still learns and finds joy in learning. He knows his limitations, but is not bitter about them. He just accepts them as a fact of life and continues on, working around the bumps in his life's road and shrugging it off as if it would be stupid to do otherwise.

Today's question was: "What is your favorite type of cooking?"

"I don't know," I replied, thinking to myself that cooking is one of my least favorite things to do.

"I like compromise cooking." He said it matter of factly, and I was intrigued. I had never heard of it before, and couldn't wait to hear his definition. He's known for long and elaborate dialogues about anything and everything imaginable, and this one sounded like it would be good.

"Compromise cooking?" I asked.

"Sure. You know," he said, "when you don't have all of the ingredients, so you add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Compromise cooking. It's always an adventure." We had a good laugh, because I'm very familiar with compromise cooking.

He's leaving this year, and won't be returning to Taiwan. We're going to miss him. He is a character if there ever was one. He's known all around the school, and the high schoolers love him, even though he's only in sixth grade.

Compromise cooking. lt's telling that he sees something as simple as compromise cooking as an adventure. It's an analogy to his life in general. We tend to think about life in perfect terms. Things have to be just so, and if they aren't, then we fix them. If we can't fix them, we're devastated. We just don't know what to do if things aren't perfect.

But our friend is going through life imperfect, and is having a ball doing it. Not because he doesn't know better, because he does. Not because he just doesn't understand....he understands more than any of us ever will. But because he has chosen to enjoy the life he has been given; to see God in the details, and to take advantage of the adventure that a little bit of this and that has added to his life. It's not the same as perfect, but it's always an adventure.

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