I had never quite known distress until I cut my first onion.
The innocent act of attempting to make a burrito bowl was sabotaged when the essence of onion drifted up to attack my eyes. Suddenly, I was completely undone. I couldn’t see. Tears came unbidden to my eyes. Forget the burrito bowl. I was going to die. Or at least go blind. I rubbed my eyes, desperately wiped away my ever multiplying tears, and ran out of the kitchen. Anything to escape this assailant.
“Come on, Megan. It’s just an onion,” my cooking buddy yells at me.
“It’s the enemy!” I tell her from the living room. “We don’t need it! Our burrito bowl will be fine without these blasted onions!”
But she insisted. “Onions add so much flavor. Just power through. I’m busy cooking this meat so I need you to do this. Just chop the onion.”
So I returned to my nemesis, eyes still aflame, but with renewed determination. I am Megan Gallear and I won’t let myself be bested by an onion.
In the end, I successfully destroyed the onions, the burrito bowl was delicious, and my blue eyes recovered. But this close call reminded me that we often have to face the uncomfortable in order to get good results. It’s known as the “pruning process,” or, as I like to call it, the “onion-chopping process.” Without some struggle, our character won’t be revealed. Without challenges, we won’t truly grow. Without pain, our potential is stifled.
And while most of us nod and agree to this reality, it is hard to keep perspective when the hardship happens. Because all we can see right now, in this moment, is pain. It blinds us, just like my onions. Yet, Colossians tells us to keep our mind on things above.
Any time we choose to push through pain, it means that we have decided that something else is worth it.
There’s a light at the end of this difficult tunnel. There is a result, a reward, on the other side. For me, it was the hope of an amazing, flavorful burrito bowl that kept me going.
And sometimes it means taking a step back (or getting out of the kitchen for a hot sec) to get some perspective. To see what we’re fighting for. We are fighters, every last one of us. We may cry a little (because onions are the worst), but we won’t be defeated. We’re going to step back into the arena and take a couple more hits. Because our character is worth fighting for. Because the fruit of the spirit is worth fighting for. The glory of God is worth fighting for.
We are heirs of Christ. Let’s not be bested by our onions.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” // John 15:2