The celebrity chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has recently been in the spotlight with his very revealing “War on Waste” series on BBC One. Apparently a third of all we produce never gets eaten! One parsnip farmer, who supplies a major supermarket, has to throw away 4 out of every 10 parsnips that she grows, and this is nothing to do with them being rotten or inedible in any way.
So how on earth can this be, what exactly is the problem? Well it comes down to what they call “cosmetic standards”, which put simply, means that any parsnip that is too big, too short, too small or too bent has to be rejected and left to rot in massive piles. Now it would be easy to point fingers at the supermarkets and say that they are the villains, however, it is the customer, you and me, that are perhaps all too picky about the shape, or colour, or size of the fruit and veg. that we let grace our tables.
So how about this question: Exactly how “picky” is God when it comes to bestowing his saving love upon people? Do we need reach a certain standard of goodness, a certain height of kindness, a certain grade of sweetness before He will consider us worthy to grace His company?
Well the answer is twofold, both a “yes” and a “no”. God’s standards are beyond cosmetic, they are perfection and that naturally spells trouble for everyone of us. However, before we bail out at this point, the Bible tells us that: “Christ died for sinners”. The final result is that he took our place in the reject pile so that we could take our place in the “shelves of heaven”. That is truly one remarkable exchange and, in to the bargain we become, as it were, perfect parsnips!