This past Tuesday Night, we held the Second Annual Thanksgiving Potluck at the Mission. Students sign up to bring a dish to share - Pinterest creations, family recipes, Smith's pies, etc. - and we all gather together to eat and laugh and celebrate the holidays. This year, I was blown out of the water by the amount of food students brought and the creativity and time students poured into their dishes. One girl, Courtney, brought AMAZING mac 'n cheese, and our guy, Ty, brought HOMEMADE pumpkin pies. What?? How awesome is that??
Well, Bryn and I signed up to bring the turkey. Yes, you read that correctly. I, Sarah Worland, probably the least gifted culinary student around Albuquerque, volunteered to cook a turkey. Honestly, I was banking on Bryn's kitchen skills to offset my lack of them. Anyway, I went home last weekend and thought I would gather some tips from my mother (Carol Worland - Master Chef Extraordinaire).
Saturday, I casually brought up the fact that I was bringing turkey to the potluck. Our conversation proceeded as follows...
"Have you bought your turkey yet?" - Mom
"Umm. No." - Me
"It should have been thawing about, well, yesterday." - Mom
GREAT. Thus commenced the Great Turkey Adventure. Quick thawing in cold water for 8 hours, pulling necks out of fowl (ha) cavities, crippling anxiety that I was going to under cook and/or poison students. All in all, the turkey actually ended up delicious (yay!)...after, of course, a few frantic calls between Bryn and I because the thermometer didn't pop out of the bird (boo!).
As I kept thinking about this though - and I won't lie, patting myself and Bryn on the back a little bit ;) - my metaphor-inclined brain kicked into high gear. Was not this endeavor similar to this adventure God has sent me on with Young Life College?
In Isaiah 43:19, God says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" This has been a verse that Russ and Jamie have had close to their hearts since they began the Mission 6 years ago in Albuquerque and has also been a comfort to me in the past year as I've set out with Young Life College.
There have been times this semester when I've felt way behind from the get-go...just like with thawing the turkey.
There have been times where I have been nervous and anxious about the logistics of Tuesday Nights or meeting new students or fundraising...just like I was afraid of under cooking the turkey.
There have been times where the thermometer hasn't popped up during the semester, when I have been waiting for God to show up, putting Him on my timeline and thinking certain situations should be "done" when I want them to be.
But from this November perspective, I also see a savory semester in my wake, seasoned not with rosemary or rubbed with olive oil but instead full of rich relationships, students renewing or growing in their walk with the Lord, and laughter - lots of laughter. Sometimes, I think God asks us to jump out in faith, ask for some advice along the way (thanks, Mom!), and embrace the new thing that He's doing. Maybe that's starting up Young Life College at UNM. Maybe that's inviting a difficult coworker to lunch. Maybe it's cooking a turkey. Whatever it is, I do know that these new things God does often lead to thankfulness in us. Thankfulness for students who brought food to share in the midst of a hectic week. Thankfulness for the three guys who stayed for close to an hour after everyone had left to help clean up the house. And thankfulness that God allows me to be a part of this incredible community forming and solidifying at UNM.
Happy Thanksgiving, fam. Thanks for reading. I pray that you have a full week, in so many ways :)