So, do you go to the chip or do you let the chip come to you?  Now there’s a question to think on for a few minutes.  One of my favorite restaurants in my hometown is a little dive located in an aged but still vibrant strip center not too far from my home.  Over the course of the last twelve years since being first introduced to this authentically Mexican gem I’ve had the privilege of having lunch there with I’m guessing over one hundred men, maybe more.  Almost to a man I’ve witnessed an interesting phenomenon that has been repeated over and over.  Here’s the scene.  Once having been seated the first item to arrive at the table are the chips and salsa.  Typically there’s an almost instinctual grab for the chips as soon as the server let’s go of the basket which is immediately followed by that proverbial first dip of the chip into the salsa.  From there the fervor heats up with some measure of rapidity until the inevitable happens.  The salsa, created from a mixture of the finest tomatoes, onions and cilantro, finds its way onto your clothing.  More often than not it finds its way to your recently dry cleaned shirt or the lap of your newly pressed pants.  Having witnessed this seemingly endless, synchronized dance of the chip in the salsa, salsa-laden chip to the mouth, salsa on the clothing over and over I finally realized the common denominator in this common occurrence.  Here’s the problem.  Typically the action that follows the “dip of the chip” is that the chip is brought towards the mouth.  Now here’s a potential solution.  Rather than let the chip come to you, you need to go to the chip.

As I’ve recounted this scene in my mind over the years I’ve realized this part of life’s story, though on one hand humorous and on the other frustrating offers us an interesting parallel application for doing life together.  Consider this.  No one would argue that life gets messy at times and sometimes the messiness of life just gets all over us including our being spilled on and the mess being ground into the fabric of our lives.  These “spills” often leave us such that even with the best deep cleaning our lives are still left with what feel like residual stains.  Left undone these stains can reveal themselves in ways that look like low self-esteem, the inability to embrace one’s self-worth and a perpetual passing on of the stain from one generation to the next.  While there are many proactive steps we can take to combat and wash away the stains of life what if we today took a lesson from the chip.  Could it be that if we leaned into life rather than let life come to us we might discover more of life?  After all, wouldn’t life have more to offer us if we chose to pursue it rather than wait to be pursued?  No doubt messiness would still abound because that’s just one of the guarantees of doing life in relationship and community.  But I just wonder if over time we might lean into the mess and actually enjoy it more.  Think back for a moment. Weren’t some of the best days of your childhood when you just allowed yourself to get dirty with your friends?  It certainly seems that leaning into life positions us to be more about others rather than what seems to be a more defensive and perhaps even selfish posture of waiting for others to come to us.  Oh well, just something to think on.  And lest I forget to mention it, no matter what the residual stain in your life is it can be wiped away once and for all.  In fact, it can be made white as snow without stain or blemish.  Do you remember “why?”  Peace.