Monday, January 9, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 5

Proverbs 31:14
"She is like the merchants' ships;
she bringeth her food from afar."

Obviously, they did not have Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, or Kroger in Biblical times. Unfortunately, there was no Pizza Hut or Crackle Barrel either. :) As the woman of the home, Miss 31 did what all the other women did in those days - she grew her own food and she shopped at the market of her day.

Now, I will take a brief moment and say that I do not have a green thumb. At all. However, I still would love to have a garden. I am taking my sweet time in that endeavor, but it IS a goal I hope to achieve before I die. Until I master the art of keeping a plant alive longer than a week, I am perfecting my grocery-shopping skills. :)

In studying this verse, we see that Miss 31 travels about obtaining food for her family (and most likely their livestock as well). I'm sure she was frugal and wise, shopping for the best "deal" of the day. The last few words of this verse stumped me a little: She bringeth her food from afar?? How on earth did she do that? And how am I supposed to do that? Should I order a shipment of fish from Norway?

It's so easy for me to think like the above. But if I take a minute and be practical, I can usually understand things a little easier. :) In those days, people walked just about everywhere. Maybe she had to walk into the village which was two miles away. Or maybe she planned a trip once a month to the city market and rode her donkey. In a time when there were **ahem** no automobiles, I'm sure 2-5 miles was "afar." Who knows? But maybe our "afar" can be the grocery store 10 miles away. And - get this - we don't even have to walk! We can make it there in a few minutes as long as we know where we placed our car keys. :) We don't have it so bad.

One thing I did learn was that merchants' ships are used for transporting goods, especially perishables (aka - food). They are not fast like airplanes. They are rather slow. However, they can carry a much larger load than one, or even two airplanes, can. Interesting. So Miss 31 is like a merchant's ship. Okay. Now, how can we tie this together?

Have you ever stopped and looked at the amount of "instant everything" we have? When I first married, cooking for two was a totally new experience! I came from a family of eight and so there was always lots to prepare at every meal in order to feed - and fill! - everyone in our family. In the first month of my marriage, I cannot tell you how many times I made twenty biscuits for two people or found myself cracking 10-15 eggs to feed just me and my husband. After a short while, I thought to myself, Why do this? I can easily pick up a couple of frozen meals at the grocery store. That will be quicker, easier, and I won't find myself with too much food. In short, this was lazy of me. Later, I looked back and realized that I spent more money on various single dinners than I would have, had I chosen to learn to cook for two. So I began to put extra time and effort in learning how to 1) find good deals, 2) buy in bulk, 3) freeze leftovers, 4) reduce waste, and 5) cook healthy. Most all frozen meals are either overpriced or completely unhealthy (or both!). Would Miss 31 resort to that? I don't think so.

A merchants' ship may be slower, but it gets the job done and it carries more than any other mode of transportation. Making healthy, home-cooked meals make take more time out of my day, but it is time well-spent. And as the keeper of my home, it is time that should be of utmost importance. In being like a merchants' ship, the food I serve my family should not be whatever is most convenient for me. It should be what is best for my family. Miss 31 takes time to plan nutritious meals that bless her family. She grows and purchases volumes of groceries that are cost effective, healthy, and go further than any "instant" meal found at the supermarket! I want to be like her. I want to manage my time well and make a point to wisely create well-balanced and home-cooked meals for my children and my husband. Kind of an odd thing to aspire to, but I'll say it anyway: I want to be a merchants' ship! Don't you? :)

Proverbs 31:14
"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."

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