Ramon…Expert Chili Roaster!

Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. (My other favorite seasons are spring, summer and winter:) One reason I enjoy fall so much is because it’s chili roasting time. Anyone who has had the pleasure of catching a whiff of green chilis roasting in the rotating drum knows what I’m talking about.

I always enjoy chatting with the guys who roast our chilis. Last year I had an opportunity to meet a Native American Indian who shared with me several things about his culture. I was fascinated by his stories. This year, I had the privilege of meeting Ramon.

It takes about 15 minutes to roast a bushel of chilis, and since I had two bushels, I had a lot of time to chat with Ramon. I noticed he set the flame on a little lower setting than the other roasters I’ve met. So I ask him about it. Ramon told me he is an expert chili roaster. From his three years of experience he has learned not to set the heat too high or it will burn the chilis. I know what he told me is true because we’ve had a few burned chilis. Ramon is good at what he does because he’s learned from experience how to do the very best job possible of roasting chilis.

There was something about Ramon’s confidence – and pride – in his ability as an expert chili roaster that made me smile. Although I have never roasted chilis, I could identify with Ramon’s good feeling about doing a good job. I try to do a good job at the things I enjoy. When I mess things up – which I do on a fairly regular basis – I like to figure out how to fix my mistakes. And I make a point to learn from these things.

As you might have imagined, I found a spiritual application in my encounter with “Expert Roaster” Ramon. Actually, it raised a question in my mind: “Am I able to claim – with a hint of confidence – that I am an expert Christ follower?” Sounds arrogant , I know, but not when we consider the basis for the claim. If we can truly claim to be an expert Christ follower, we are in the process of learning that every ability we have is a gift from God. We are learning that apart from Jesus, we cannot accomplish anything of eternal value.  And we are learning that he is the Source of the peace in our hearts and the assurance of eternal life with Him.

Possibly we will have an opportunity today, or in the near future, to tell someone about some of the things we’re learning as a fully devoted  Christ follower. Maybe they will be intrigued by our enthusiasm – and the passion in our life – to begin a personal journey with God!

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