Food tasting events are not for the weak. Whatever you might think, by participating you have agreed to express a view. Your words will be subject to the comparative reactions of others as well as those who are speaking without knowledge. One will be confronted. There is no escape. There is no place to hide. You are either participating or standing to the side.
I recently went to a tasting event with a German twist. It was an invitation I could not resist. I candidly went into the evening with fear and doubts bubbling over. Would I discern the nuances? How would I describe what I experienced? Most importantly, what would others think of my comments?
As the briefing went on about the farmers, soil, and preparation, I found myself struggling with growing fears. I was clearly in over my head. As the emotions reached a critical flight or fight moment, the presenter’s observation forced a rethink. “Even the experts are wrong at times. They miss something. Often there is a “ringer” entry that is outside of the tasting’s parameters. The judges are briefed in advanced. There is a often a prize for identifying the pirate.”
The story went on. At one event, even the presenter was unable to identify the non-standard item that he had brought to the event. He did not know. In a spirit of humbleness, he was paraphrasing Paul’s words. “I’m not shy in standing up to my critics.” (1 Corinthians 9.3)
As I listened to a recognized expert with decades of experience admit his weaknesses, I realized life is never about perfection. Life is about living, acting, striving for right and learning when you get it wrong. Others will confront you at times, challenging your views and opinions. At times it hurts, distracting us from the calling we share. We are invited to be a part of the community making a difference. We will not always get it right. The good news is that God has taken care of the final outcome. Our job is to do the stuff of living.