As a youngster, I got to help Grandma in the kitchen when she brought in a bushel of green beans from the garden. Snapping off the stem and breaking the bean in half was a skill that even a four-year-old could learn.
I looked at the mountain of work and wondered how many people had been invited for dinner. I liked green beans, but this was more than I could eat in a year. Why were we cooking so many?
Grandma showed me all the sterilized jars and explained the canning process. This way, the beans would be good to eat for a long time without refrigeration.
Amazing. How had she learned this? Apparently, they taught these things in school.
I thought canning was a great idea until the next winter when I had to eat the stuff. The color wasn’t the same, and the taste wasn’t either. Fresh out of the garden was much better.
I’m now looking at the label on the green-beans can in my pantry. The words “fresh cut” stand out on the label. Who are they kidding? The “use by” date on the bottom of the can is two years away. Contrary to what the label is suggesting, these “fresh cut” beans will be nowhere close to fresh when the can is opened.
I’ve found that this principle applies to how I write and speak.
I don’t know anybody who likes what I have to say when I pull something out of the can. They prefer fresh and spontaneous insights. That’s why I’m not content with pulling information only from decades of research. I look for ways to delight my audience with preparation and presentations that deliver words in season, straight from the garden.
Every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings both old and new things from his storehouse of treasures. — Matthew 13:52 from Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story