A profound conversation with mom

Mom and I were talking over supper. She was commenting on a dish and said, “I put only one tomato in, I was afraid that it may taste sour.” I sensed something not quite right about the statement. I thought for a minute and said, ”Mom, it is not how many tomato you put in, it is whether the tomato you put in is sour or not. If the tomato was sour, even one will result in a sour taste. If the tomato is sweet putting ten in just make it sweeter.” Mom nodded in agreement, some what lethargically.

This was a most profound conversation of Socrates proportion. There is at least three great telling lessons to be learn.

Firstly, we often address a problem with asking wrong question. In the business world, when a project is late instead of asking about why it is late often the question is how much more resources do we need. Wrong question will never find the right answer. Asking the right question is half way to the solution.

Secondly, reducing the problem is often the most obvious response. See how my mom solved the question of whether the tomato was sour or not. She reduced the risk to the minimum. Not that she was wrong but she was not really facing the problem. The problem will continue to re-occur. Actually later she added, “next time I should check the tomato and if it was sour. If it was then I’ll add some sugar.” Now that was a much better solution.

Thirdly, how quantity is more obvious then quality. We are so governed by numbers that it is not even funny. I remembered years ago there was this preacher preaching the need of every one of us to go and save souls. He asked us to sing the hymn, “Must I go and empty handed”. Man, if I ever felt guilty, it was then. Baring the fact that really is not about saving soul, even if it is, it is not about how many.

There are so much implications in that little conversation. It has the broadest implication.

It is not about how many activities you are participating in the church. It is really about the quality of the activities.

It is not about how many people are there every Sunday in you church it is about the quality of people there. Megachurch = MegaBull. (yes, you can quote me)

In understanding the bible it is really about whether you ask the right question for that piece of text.

In understanding of the text, it is not about how well you understand. There is really no end to that. It is about the competency to understand.

In the matter of temptation, the less effective response is to minimize the problem, not that it cannot be effective. Rather it is better to face the problem and see what quality of character you need to change so you eventually put a complete end to temptation.

My man, love my mom, she is profound. I am comtemplating about putting her on a pedestal right next to Henri Nouwen.


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