My dining room is currently the location of a small but important science experiment. 

We have a GoPro and an ICE Light (this photography lighting tool that looks like a light saber) hovering over dishes containing lemon juice, apple juice, orange juice, and good old-fashioned air. 

This morning we dipped some apple slices in the various liquids (or air) and we’re waiting to see how the liquids (or lack thereof) affect the browning of the apples.

I’ve peeked in throughout the day and lemon juice is a definite front runner, but apple juice has held her own pretty well. No juice is definitely not a great choice if you’re trying to slow the browning process, so that hypothesis has been nailed down pretty tight.

It has got me thinking though: 

What’s stopping you and me from turning brown? Anything?

Ask ten people about their life in 2020, and you’ll get ten stories. But some common themes will surely emerge… words like tough, challenging, difficult, discouraging. 

Nothing magical happens when we flip the calendar to a new year – so what can we do with the control we do have to live a different story this year?

Here’s the thing, friend. You and me? 

We’re like apple slices. And every day we get out of bed, the world wants to convince us that it’s full of reasons to be mad, angry, sad and completely hopeless. 

We could go along with that. Because there seems like a lot of evidence to credit that point.

But a writing coach/mentor of mine this week pointed out something I’m still thinking about. COVID has spread from person to person, right? It’s contagious like that, so one person has it… and then they can pass it on to another person, and so on.

But lots of other things are contagious, too. The kinds of things that stop us from turning brown. Kindness can be contagious. Hope can be contagious. Watch a stadium of fans in the last thirty seconds of a tight game. Respect, gentleness, patience, perseverance… so many good things can be contagious. 

The best way for us to go out and spread the good stuff is to get absolutely smothered in it, every day.  

We dipped those apple slices, and then flipped them over to wet the other sides, tapped off the drips and sat them out for observation.

And you and I? We can get saturated in God’s goodness. 

We can soak in it. We can dive deep in the Word. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Read it aloud. Study it. Listen to it being read.

We can swim far in the ocean of prayer. Long and deep on our knees prayer. Quick and quiet under our breath throughout the day prayer. Big group prayers and all alone prayers.

We can worship, praising God for the beautiful sunrise out our window, giving thanks for the food in the pantry, singing at the top of our lungs, or just holding onto a tune in our hearts. We always need reminding: we can feed on His faithfulness.

Three hours have passed and that lemon-juice-soaked apple slice might be starting to show the faintest signs of browning. 

Sitting out in the world without preservatives will do that to us eventually.

But this is where the story departs for you and me: we can go boldly out into the world, ready to be a contagion of light – and then when we need it, wherever we are, we can come home to Jesus and get soaked again.

P.S. Just for fun… I updated my Five Step Meal Plan Guide with a month’s worth of our favorite weeknight meals in 2020. If you’re hoping to eat well at home this year, I’d love for you to grab the free updated guide by clicking below. It’ll walk you through setting up a meal plan system in five steps, and it includes 40 recipe ideas to get your wheels turning! 

And please, if it’s helpful, please share this link with a friend so they can enjoy it, too!! 

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