Life is like eating a pomegranate
Yesterday I did something for the first time. I ate fresh pomegranate.
I’ve never bought a pomegranate before because it always seemed like too much work. But Elliot has asked for one the past two grocery trips, so I decided to give it a try.
Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates,” but I now think life is like eating a pomegranate.
I sat that thing on the cutting board, and I had no idea what to do. I stared at it and pondered what I thought it would look like on the inside. (I had seen pictures, and I had tasted pomegranate-flavored foods.) Finally, I grabbed a knife and cut it in half. I was instantly surprised because the juice splattered on the cutting board and even onto the counter. I didn’t know pomegranates were so juicy.
So then I stood there and looked at the inside of the pomegranate – pretty much what I expected based on the pictures I’d seen. I quickly realized that my original concern about a pomegranate being a lot of work was confirmed. The seeds were beautiful tiny creations, squishy on the outside, and layered in such a way that looked like organized chaos. The membranes wrapped around and throughout the seeds, creating countless obstacles to the edible fruit.
How was I supposed to actually remove the seeds? By using my fingers? A spoon? A knife? I started with my fingers and thought, This is going to take forever! I then tried a spoon, but my progress was equally slow with that method. Elliot was getting impatient, waiting for his long-anticipated pomegranate. I gave him a few of the seeds I extracted and popped one in my mouth.
Along with avocado and spaghetti squash, I’m adding pomegranates to the list of amazing foods that I am certain could only be formed by a Creator. The squishy outside perfectly popped, leading to the firm inside. YUM!
I stood at the kitchen counter, still wondering if I could make eating more of the pomegranate an act of immediate gratification, rather than delayed gratification. I picked up half of the fruit and examined it further. Along the edge, I noticed a row of many seeds, packed tightly together. Then, it hit me. If I break a section off with my hand, those seeds will be exposed, and I can get to them more easily. But I wasn’t sure about breaking it. What if I wasn’t strong enough? What if I made a huge mess? What if seeds flew out everywhere and juice splattered? It was a risk I had to take.
So I broke it with my hands. And the fruit was exposed.
I had to break it to have an abundance of fruit.
But even after the breaking, the membranes still presented obstacles, still slowed me down, still made me do hard work. Every once in a while, to get an abundance of seeds, I had to break the pomegranate again. In a different section. But breaking it was the only way to have an abundance.
This is the same as life. I have no idea what I’m doing when I try something new. I use different approaches. There are obstacles. There is hard work to be done. People, including me, will get impatient. The really good stuff in life comes from delayed gratification. Occasional brokenness is inevitable if an abundant life is the goal.
P.S. After writing all this, I decided to Google “how to eat a pomegranate,” and it turns out there are other, easier ways to cut and de-seed it. This is also like life. Sometimes I do things the hard way the first time. And I learn and move on.