Friday, October 18, 2013

Still pondering my children's church lesson on salt...

 This is one story, but I remembered another...

There are folk tales of salt.  I remembered reading one as a child, so I looked it up to bring it out of the fog of memory.  A king had three sons.  Two he outfitted with ships to go seek their fortune.  His third was a hopeless ninny.  However, he was a ninny that his mother loved, so together they begged that he be given a chance as well.  The father gave him a little ship with rags for sails manned by ancient mariners who weren't worth their salt.*  A storm blew them off course and deposited them on an island with a gleaming white mountain, not of snow but of salt.   With their rag sails mended, (and quite beautiful with remnants of tapestries and colorful silk, I might add), and the salt loaded as much as they could bear, he set off again to seek his fortune.  A king of another land refused to give him audience for his worthless white powder, so he went to the kitchen to beg a snack.  When the cooks and scullery maids weren't looking, he added pinches of salt to all their dishes.  Upon tasting the best meal of his life, the king found him out.  His whole cargo of salt was purchased: one bag of salt for three bags, one of gold, one of silver, and one of jewels, and of course a marriage to the Tsar's daughter was arranged.  Not bad for a ninny!

We are practicing our Super Christmas play where superheroes feel threatened by the coming of a new Super Power.  Sunday I introduced them to Super Salt: note the red cape with a big "S" on it.  We have no need to go farther than our own kitchen or movie theater eating popcorn to know the importance of salt.  Too much of a good thing is unhealthy, but salt is essential to life, as in have you ever tasted your own tears?  Have you ever swished salt water in your mouth for a sore throat or used the saline solution up the nostril?  Our physician prescribes such simple treatment.  Salt preserves, heals, and is a main spice of life. 

"You are the salt of the earth but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?
It is good for nothing anymore except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men."  Matthew 5:13

Reading the history of salt, it was sometimes used as money or as a tool of war.  If the sources of salt were cut off, main sources of revenue were as well or it was so disturbing to go without to make them fighting mad!  It was even important in our Civil War to capture the salt works.  After giving the lesson on Sunday, I happened upon another relative on who drowned crossing over to the salt mine he supervised.  Who knew!

Jedediah Smith crossing the Mojave Desert

One of my favorite heroes, Jedediah Smith, a devout Christian and mountain man, was thrilled to discover a tribe's salt cave.  He is known for his trek over the Rocky Mountains to California, but he also sought out southern overland routes which could prove deadly over vast stretches of alkaline desert.  If nothing grows, then there is not wildlife.  Without beasties, there is no food.  Not only did the Indians have food that could be preserved, but it was well seasoned!  A steady diet of game without salt could get exceedingly dreadful.  The only thing worse was starvation which unrelentingly stalked the explorers.  The salt that seasoned also made the ground unfit to grow anything upon where it was tread upon, such as the alkaline (a mineral salt) desert.  However, this tribe on the California side of the desert preserved his life.

Are you a well seasoned Christian, the spice of life who draws the blah, perishing world to our Savior?  Or having been bought with a price by His precious blood, have you trampled it under foot?  We can not afford to treat His precious blood as good for nothing.  Are you worth your salt?

Another scared straight passage of Scripture...

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries...How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has...insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' ...It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  Hebrews 10:26-31

*When salt was used for money in the purchasing of slaves, the expression came, "he was not worth his salt."

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