It is no surprise to anyone that I love pizza. Veggie pizza, pepperoni pizza, jalapeno pizza. Black olives, anyone? Pizza is the best of all foods in one place: bread, tomatoes, cheese, spicy sausages. Pizza is essentially edible happiness. It speaks of basketball road-trips with the high school team and of childhood Saturday nights with my family listening to the Prairie Home Companion on the radio over a half mushroom-half pepperoni pie from The Loft.
Today, ordering a pizza is a craft experience–but maybe it is an even deeper evidence of how we think about our lives. You walk into Mod Pizza or, my favorite, Pizza Rev(olution), and up to the shiny case of more than 50 toppings. My basic understanding of combinatorics leaves me utterly thrilled at the options. Get this: If you select just 6 toppings on your pizza (and I am not sure how that is possible), you have more than 15 million ways you could make your pizza. FIFTEEN MILLION. Did I mention “Edible Happiness”?
This is the air we breath, the way we live our lives; this is the Craft Pizza Worldview. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Options hit us from every angle. Choices demand attention. Devices beep. Information numbs. FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Decisions strung together form life, and most decisions are significantly more important than whether or not to add fresh basil and or dried oregano: What to study. When to move. How to talk to a friend about a hard topic. What country to serve in. Whether to make plans if you you don’t know what choice your squad is going to make. Who to date–or not. How to focus the next 40 years.
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes ruminated on the futility of the continuously cycling of circumstances of life. He was speaking from a position of comfort and ease, of option and choice, and yet, “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (1:8).
Ironically, sometimes choices can bind. Options paralyze. There are too many toppings to chose. The very fabric of our society is shot through with opportunities for self-centeredness. But there is another option: Ask your God for wisdom make decisions that honor Him and that demonstrate love for the people around you. Choose. Then trust in His sovereignty. Rest in His goodness.
My friend John Newton once wrote to a friend with sage advice about making plans and sorting out options:
“Let us cast down the load we are unable to carry; and if the Lord be our Shepherd, refer all, and trust all to Him. Let us endeavor to live to Him and for Him today and be glad that tomorrow, with all that is behind it, is in His hands.”
Letters of John Newton, loc. 4525
Today. . .and Tomorrow are in His Hands.
Anybody want some pizza?
Reposted from September 2017 as I mourn the closing of my favorite pizza place due to Covid 19.