I know, that may be hard to believe, but it is true. As a child, I loved apple pie. I loved strawberry pie. I would eat chocolate pie, Oreo pie, even banana cream pie. And yet, every year at Thanksgiving my mom would make a pumpkin pie and every year I would confess, “you know, I don’t actually really like pumpkin pie.” So I would scoop some vanilla ice cream onto my warm slice of apple goodness, and be fully content. 🙂
After a while, I started noticing that everyone else seemed to love pumpkin pie. My mom would ask if we should make it (in addition to all the other staple pies) and the vote within the family was overwhelmingly YES. Occasionally, I would think, “I should just try a little bit. Maybe I will like it now.” And so, I would take a small piece. And it would be cold and gelatinous and still exactly how I had remembered it in years past.
If you were to ask any of my coworkers now (or basically anyone I’ve met within the past 6 months) if the previous paragraphs were about me, I suspect they would say no. Not only do I like pumpkin pie now, I love pumpkin everything! I don’t know what kind of vitamins that beautiful orange gourd contains that my body is lacking, but every kind of pumpkin concoction (bread, cookies, pie, oatmeal, you name it) sounds perfectly appealing to me, and I can’t get enough.
(I may or may not have eaten half of our Pi Day pumpkin pie by myself…)
This phenomenon has been stuck in my head over the past few weeks. I heard a statistic once (which I can’t find a source for and thus won’t repeat) about the average number of times an individual comes in contact with the LDS church before choosing to meet with missionaries. On a more personal level, my parents were visiting a few weeks ago and happened to recount their conversion story to one of my friends. My father was blessed to gain a testimony of the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather quickly, and then waited patiently to get baptized as my mom was taught off and on for roughly 8 years!
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more stories I’m able to hear and participate in, I become more and more convinced that we are all living and traveling our own spiritual timeline. I sincerely believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. There is a greater sense of peace, comfort, hope, inspiration, strength, purpose, and protection available to every son and daughter of God (that means YOU, and me, and everyone else). Sometimes it can be discouraging, however, when we offer someone a glass of delicious orange juice and they politely decline. It doesn’t need to be, though! I think:
- Differences in tastes and preferences are okay. Not everyone will want to hear or accept the message that we share. God’s love for them is no less real, and neither should ours be.
- Just because someone you care for isn’t interested to learn more right now doesn’t mean that the Lord isn’t still preparing that individual to receive more at a future date.
- When one does come to accept new pieces of truth and gain access to new blessings, they will not only appreciate it more fully (having never taken it for granted), but they will likely seek it out in greater abundance.
We, as human beings, are not static. People can– and do– change. I mean, after all, I used to not like pumpkin pie.