We have started a new tradition this New Year’s Day. I made shrimp and sausage gumbo yesterday and it is sitting on the stove today on simmer for the family to eat as they like.
What makes up a gumbo? There are a number of recipes but a vast majority of them require a rue. For those who may not know, a rue is flour that has been basically fried in oil while being stirred or whisked to keep it from burning to the pan. A light to dark chocolate look to the rue is the desired outcome. I like a rue that is on the lighter side (a darker side of beige you might say).
To the rue all of the other ingredients are added. Usually chicken stock, chopped onion, some bell pepper, Cajun spices, tobasco, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper, Worcestershire, and andouille sausage. All of those are brought to a rolling boil and then turned down to simmer for a bit. After 20 or so minutes it is brought back to a slow boil and chopped okra and shrimp are added. Once the shrimp turn pink some gumbo file powder is added to thicken the broth. Then it is back to simmer for a bit and finally ready to serve over rice with some chopped scallions. Mmm good!
Our walk with Christ is like a gumbo. At salvation our spirit man and the Holy Spirit are whisked together by the hand of the Lord and this is the basis upon which our walk is built. As we journey we add on and and our gumbo grows with ingredients (fruits of the Spirit). We go through storms in our walk (boiling points), but these only serve to blend the ingredients into our character allowing us to grow and expand our faith. The Spirit will also add gifts to our lives to allow us to perform some task for the kingdom. As Paul wrote in his writings, these gifts are diverse and are not all the same and are given at different times to different believers. If everybody was a teacher where would prophecy be…in our gumbo, if all of our gifts or fruits were onion where would the pepper be. The gifts and fruits that we have been given are to be used and shared…this is the serving part of our gumbo life. We must share ourselves, both believers and unbelievers and let them taste of His goodness.
In this new year oh Lord, help us to strengthen our faith and be used by you. May we walk in the fruits of the Spirit and may they be readily seen by all with whom we come into contact. Give us the appropriate gifts of the Spirit to be used at just the right time and may we have the faith to step up and use the gift. I thank you God that we are all different and you use us all in different ways to further your kingdom. Praises be to you Jehovah forever and ever, Amen!