I like jello. I like the way it looks: clear yet colored. I like the way it feels: slimy and smooth. I like the way it tastes: sweet and cool. But mostly, I like the way you can take a bite and then push the jello back through your teeth using your tongue.
I always wondered if I was the only person who thoroughly enjoyed every bite of jello. I have discovered a friend who shares my affinity for eating jello, especially blue jello. (here’s your shoutout, my overly organized friend who finishes homework before it’s assigned!)
It’s quite simple to make, jello that is. A little box of white, sugary powder, a couple cups of boiling water, and a few cups of cold water. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
When I eat jello, I think about 3 things.
1. My Best Friend’s Wedding. Jello makes Michael feel comfortable. Compared to creme brulee, Michael needs jello. And creme brulee could never be jello.
2. Easter. When I was little, my mom would make jello jigglers in the shapes of eggs for easter. I would always eat way too many and spoil my dinner. But it was worth it.
3. Reaction to change. As I poked at my jello in a bowl, I noticed how it jiggled. Fascinating really…how a little sugary powder and water could make a delectable dish that jiggles. So I googled ‘why does jello jiggle?’.
And I learned that jello is a liquid and a solid. And the wiggly jiggle of the jello is from the tangled web of polypeptide chains of the gelatin protein. Because the sugary powder is not a sugar, but a protein called gelatin. And gelatin comes from nasty things like ground bones, hooves, and connective tissues from animals like pigs and cows. Ewww! But, gelatin improves the condition of hair, skin, nails, and bones. So the breaking of the collagen protein bonds by pouring in hot water, and the reconnecting of some by pouring in cold water makes this delicious food dance.
I like to look at jello. I like to watch it jiggle. But the jello doesn’t wiggle and jiggle until it is bumped, moved, poked, or prodded.
Life has its own bumps along the way, with some painful prodding along with celebratory movement. How we react to these shares a glimpse into the deeper parts of ourselves. I once heard this quote: “The instinctive response to an unexpected situation reveals the condition of your heart.” There are a lot of unexpected situations in life. Some good and some bad. And these unexpected situations are inevitable. And so we react and respond. Sometimes in a selfish and negative manner, other times grateful and hopeful.
Change cannot be avoided. And I feel like my life is about to be overturned with upcoming changes. Graduation, new car, new city, new apartment, new church, new friends, new job. And it’s scary. So often, my instinctive response is to curl up in my snuggie and retreat to my room, my safehaven. I want to prevent everything from changing too quickly. And my whole afternoon goes haywire when unexpected things come up, like a broken car needing towing.
Jello has made me think about the condition of my heart. Change makes me think about my God. Because of all the unexpected situations, the upcoming changes, I can be sure of one thing: my God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His love, promises, and grace do not falter or fade. And in the midst of uncertainties, I can wiggle and jiggle. I can dance with joy because my God doesn’t change. I can rely on Him tomorrow, even if I can’t rely on my car. I can expect God to be with me. I can rest in the Prince of Peace.
So I’m gonna put on my tap shoes, even if they annoy my roommates. I’m gonna eat some jello, even if I already had a serving today. And I’m gonna be real with those around me. Change isn’t easy. It is sure to occur, though. So I can trust in my God who doesn’t change. Even though I don’t understand Him, or His plans for me, tonight it’s okay.
I really like jello.