In France, there’s a saying that there is a cheese for every day of the year. Sue and I tried many varieties in our time there, but since, like architectural styles, cheeses are regional, being found almost exclusively in the department (or county) where they are produced and given that there are ninety-six (96) departments, it is likely that we missed sampling the vast majority. I find it an intriguing, and yummy, prospect – something to add to the bucket list? –  to take a year dedicated to French cheese tasting – adding a new one every day spanning all three hundred sixty-five (365). Might that lead to cheese snobbery? I guess I’d have to be mindful of that happening. If nothing else, it could give bragging rights in the company of fellow cheese lovers. I can almost taste them now, everything from the mildest and creamiest to the pungent blues, the aged goat cheeses and the ones with off-putting aromas but with extravagant, complex tanginess to tantalize the palate! Mmm-mmm. Délicieux!

On this penultimate day of Christmas (Day 11) as we wrap up this beautiful twelve days of savoring the Savior, I’m thinking of another possible tasting adventure which requires no travel. King David encourages in Psalm 34, “Taste of His goodness; see how wonderful the Eternal truly is.” Now, in my books, that sounds like a year-long ‘taste test’ worth experiencing! Here’s how Jesus’ brother, James, describes that test: “…when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” What I hear in his words is a delicious challenge to embark on a twelve-month journey of ‘new seeing,’ of adopting a new attitude, a new outlook, so that as this new year rolls out before us, we respond like excited, hope-filled children whose every day is a day of discovery, a day of unwrapping more joy, a day of receiving a fresh expression of love, a day of pushing through gloom and sadness and setbacks – to taste Him! You know what? We could all, by next Christmas, have herculean faith, supreme confidence, unshakeable awareness of our belovedness, and the unmistakable aroma of Jesus wafting off us. How about you? Are you in?  PD

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