“Do you like chilies?”
“Yes, in all kinds of ways. Fresh, cooked, and pickled, they are all good. ”
“How about fresh salsa with a strong bite?”
“Sure, why do you ask?”
“I make a fresh salsa with some of the hottest chilies from Trinidad. They are genetic variations on the Naga chilies you know but they are significantly hotter yet with the same kind of flavor.”
As I tried a bit on the end of a spoon, my first reaction was a loud, audible “wow”! The wow was on two points. Yes, this was potentially the hottest salsa that I have ever put into my mouth. Wow, this was seriously good salsa.
“I love it!”
As he talked about the ingredients, I realized we were only touching on the what. While interesting, I wanted more. “How do you make the salsa? I love the finish; can you start at the beginning?”
As he started with the way he chose the ingredients, I found myself responding like a relentless two year old. Each statement of how was followed with my voice repeating again and again “why?” Patiently, he explained the why to each how that led to a what.
The process was amazing. Freshest ingredients, many local but critically, special additions sent directly by air from friends that were growing the chilies or different herbs. Additionally, there were combinations that I had never considered. With each why answer to a step in the process, I found myself trying additional samples of the salsa.
As I reflect on the experience, the salsa creation process why answers remind me of disciplines opening my soul up to receiving more. A writer described a scene and the thirst that came from it; “A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.” (Psalm 42.1) In my case, the taste of the salsa still lingers in my mouth the morning after. I want my life to be a wow kind of salsa – bring, fresh, and with a zing that lingers long after it is consumed.