Ya know, the other day I put a new sticker on my car - Salt Life. The one with flip flops between the words. It's a little thing, but it has turned into a revelation for me. I am one of those people - I don't put stickers on my car. But the Salt Life stickers are so cute. So I bought one and it still took me 2 1/2 weeks to put it on my car. It's pink, has flip flops, and a little hibiscus on it. Cute. And coastal. I love my moments at the beach, or fishing with my family. The beach & fishing, for me, doesn't happen as often as I'd like, but that will change.
So, I cleaned my window and put it on my car. I take a step back and I see it. Oh. my. goodness. It's just slightly off center. Instantly I want it off. Shoot. Then I start to laugh to myself and the revelation hits me. I am just a little off center. I have also been known to be a bit salty. I read the sticker, "Salt Life", and immediately thought about the scripture that refers to being the salt of the earth. I am a cradle Catholic and had to look up the verse - Matthew 5:13. ;) Not everyone likes salt - but we all need a little dose of it. Salt improves the flavor of our foods and provides us with needed minerals. If a body lacks sodium, one can experience fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, and even confusion. If we have too much salt our blood pressure can go up harming our heart, water is retained, and we can become extremely thirsty. In other words, if our salt intake isn't balanced, we have consequences. Uh-oh. First, I sarcastically thought, "OK God. I get it. Drink more water." Then I realized, "Salt Life" might become my motto.
In the past, I have been accused of being a bit of 'a bull in a china shop' when I am focused upon a mission. As the oldest of 6, I was my mother's "in charge" person. Often, for me, I called it 'my mission with passion'. That vision may have been as simple as helping my mother or to follow my vocation as an educator. Looking at that sticker, I smiled, and thanked God for providing me with salty people throughout my life. I have grown closer to him this year - all because I am at Epiphany.
I am a salty Catholic. I am surrounded with salty Catholics and Christians. I am so blessed! Salty, faith-filled Catholics and Christians challenge each other to remember and live our faith. Sometimes we add too much flavor which can do harm - gossip, holding hurt feelings, withholding needed information, thoughtlessness, and countless other things our humanness perpetuates. Other times we don't give enough salt, ultimately making no difference and being lifeLESS for our faith, leaving us fatigued and possibly confused. I have predominantly experienced the perfect amount of salt this year.
Many in my life have sprinkled the perfect amount of salt for me. Looking at my slightly off-centered sticker, I chuckled. Here I put a secular logo on my car and I now have this constant reminder to be 'salt of the earth'. Laughing, I also recognize God's practical joke on me. I would normally have measured and made sure the center of my sticker was perfectly centered at the top of my window. I don't know why, but this time, that process never entered my mind. For the first time in 3 years! Funny. I am a somewhat off center. When I/we bring salt to the earth, I/we are not perfect. We are human, and we make mistakes. That's we get salt from our faith family too. Our amazing Communion of Saints helps us with our salty balance. I make mistakes - plenty. I look at that off-center sticker and want to remove it and fix it. Or take it down all together. But then I remember "be the salt of the Earth." Imperfect. Flavorful. "Salt Life" in flip flops.
This year has brought many challenges for me personally and professionally. My faith was off balance. After starting this job, my work and home life were expectedly off balance. I am still looking for balance. I think most people are perpetually looking for balance. However, this year especially, I have found a renewed balance in my faith life because of God's perfect placement for me at the perfect time.
I am so thankful for the salty people in my life. Our salty ways are beautiful expressions of our faith. I pray that we always remember to be the salt of the Earth with God's perfect balance.