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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Corn and the Disappointments of Life

In a comment on a recent post about Mongolia, Brian V mentioned that a Mongolian missionary who taught his family "thought it disgusting that Americans eat corn [for] in Mongolia, at least where he lived, corn was for animals, not humans." That reminds me an experience I had in Switzerland on my mission.

In Switzerland, corn on the cob is relatively uncommon because most corn is raised to feed animals. In fact, I don't think we ever ate corn in the first half of my mission, until one kind sister in the Basel ward asked if we like it. Yes, we love it, we explained, and told her how we missed it over there. "Oh, I didn't know missionaries would like it. It's one of my favorite dishes," she said. "When you come for lunch this week, we'll have a special corn feast."

My companion and I were excited as we approached her home for our lunch appointment later that week. On her table was a vary large covered bowl with steam escaping from the sides. Our mouths watered as we had a blessing on the food. And then she took off the cover, revealing a huge mound of gooey corn meal, cooked with some onion and cheese, as I recall.

I glad that we were able to eat graciously and do a reasonable job of feigning enjoyment. We didn't want the dear sister to get any hint of our little disappointment. It wasn't too bad, as far as corn meal goes. And we did recognize that this offering was a sincere and loving gift from a kind woman, sharing one of her favorite dishes with us. That was a treat, indeed, and the yearning for corn on the cob would just have to wait much longer to be fulfilled.

Life is like that, and employment can often be like that, too. We hunger and yearn for an expected reward, and find out that the world's definition of corn might not agree with ours. Don't let these little disappointments wreck your feast or lead you to offend others. But keep your eyes open for the real corn on the cob!


danithew said...

This reminds me of Samuel Johnson's not-so-nice definition of "oats" in his English dictionary:

A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.

The value of an item of food may have something to do with a person's cultural baggage.

Anonymous said...

Love the post. It is too true. Too often we expect one thing and when it does arrive just as we expect it, we forget to be grateful for what does come.

--Single mother of two

OnHech said...

First post of yours I read, its a nice change. Its personal and meaningful. Quite uncommon in your everyday blogger. I enjoyed it.

Kathleen said...

Doesn't the Word of Wisdom tell us that corn is for animals?

Anonymous said...

And don't push your kind of corn on others might be a worthwhile addition!