In high school, one of my top pet peeves was watching people eat pizza with a fork. For a variety of reasons at the time, the practice was just “wrong”! In my opinion, pizza should be eaten with your hands. You could fold it, keep it flat, or do anything as long as you had the full experience that included the feel of a good pizza pie. The view transcended thin crust, Chicago style or New York (the best) pizzas.
As I have aged, I have come to accept that eating pizza with your hands does not work in every forum. Formal business lunches in Milan take a different course if you use your hands. Some Chicago deep-dish pizzas become a big mess when eaten with your hands. There are reasons why one needs to vary from the hands used to eat pizza mantra.
As I watched someone eat pizza with a fork recently, I realized that they had no idea what they were missing. They did not connect the potential of experiencing everything possible when it came to eating. While I could be critical, I saw the opportunity to gently introduce them to the idea of more. Just imagine was the underlying theme of our conversation on the subject.
Far too often I metaphorically live as if I am eating pizza with a fork. I do not connect my highest values with the moment at hand. I sanitize and compromise the moment! I forget compassion in a moment of frustration. I focus on myself instead of community when deadlines loom. I lose the potential in the face of my fears and uncertainty.
Life invites us to eat pizza with our hands. Life is more than theory. Life is about living. One wisdom father’s way of putting it was that “while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us.” (1 John 5.7) We are invited to use the realities of truth in every choice. Life is for living with everything we have.