“What’s It Really Made Of?”
Today millions of folks across the United States of America will sit down to enjoy a nice slice of pumpkin pie (with a generous dollop of whipped cream, of course!). What could be more “Thanksgiving” than that, except perhaps the turkey and dressing?
But is that really pumpkin in the pie you’re about to enjoy? If the pie was made with canned pumpkin (which we suspect the vast majority of pies utilize), you’re not actually eating pumpkin. You’re eating squash.
I just came across this bit of information, so (being the skeptical person I am) I had to check it out. It turns out that multiple web sites confirm this little-known detail. The vegetable that has been cooked, pureed and canned is actually some form of winter squash. Pumpkin just doesn’t have the same naturally sweet flavor.
Pumpkins are part of the Cucurbita family, I’ve learned, a family which also includes – you guessed it – squashes and gourds. As one web site put it, “The difference between pumpkins, gourds and squash is that a gourd is generally something you look at, you cook squash and you carve a pumpkin.” (http://voices.yahoo.com/the-difference-between-pumpkins-gourds-squash-6691116.html)
I don’t think I’ve spoiled anyone’s appetite for pumpkin pie by relating these facts. But it does remind us that things are not always as they seem. Sometimes we do well to examine what we have long accepted.
The apostle Paul wrote long ago to urge Christians to examine themselves. We may think we are pleasing God in what we are doing, but maybe He’s not pleased at all. Who would know that better than the former Saul of Tarsus (see 1 Timothy 1:12-16)?!
One thing Christians in earliest times practiced each week (and some of us still do) was to partake of the Lord’s supper. What’s the point? “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28). A prime reason to engage in this act is to reflect on the genuineness of our discipleship.
In another letter Paul wrote this: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). “Disqualified” as a follower of Jesus? Now there’s a sobering thought!
If God has told me to use pumpkin in making my pies, I shouldn’t substitute squash. Of course, God has said nothing about making pies. But He has given us lots of other details to follow as we live for Him. It’s time to ask, “What’s my faith really made of?”
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Timothy D. Hall