Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hubba Bubba...Bubblicious...Dubble Bubble: Celebrate National Bubblegum Week

Have you ever wondered where bubblegum got its start? Well, Justice posed that very question this weekend.

Not satisfied with where his basketball goal sat in the driveway (he couldn't make an appropriate 3-point line), he set out to move it himself. While he struggled with his task, the propane guy came to check the tank. He asked Justice if he wanted help. I watched the exchange out the kitchen window and saw that when Brady-the-propane-guy left, he handed Justice a piece of Bazooka gum.

Later the evening as we rode in the car and Justice continued his hours-long munch on the gum (did you do that when you were a kid?), he said, "I wonder who thought up bubblegum?"

"Well, that sounds like a good thing to research on the computer," I said, glancing over to see if he'd bite. "But I do know that the third week in April is National Bubblegum Week."

He looked at me astonished that I knew that little nugget of pop (get it? pop?) culture trivia. See, what he doesn't know is that if I continue with this blog, I have 156 posts to do in a year and I need material. I've got to look at every holiday, baby.

Anyway that made me think of gum. You know how some people just always seem to have a wad of gum in their mouth and for some reason, you just can't help but see it the whole time you talk to them? I had a friend in high school who just couldn't stand gum for that reason--it just grossed him out. So, he never chewed it. Sometimes just for fun, I'd get him to chew a piece, just because he was so awkward at it that it was hilarious to watch! Can you imagine someone not knowing how to chew gum?

Bubblegum has been around since 1926 and it was originally the color pink because that was the only color the inventor had. But chewing gum dates as far back as 5,000 years ago (so they tell us). Used as an antiseptic and mouth freshener, people made it out of natural things like sap, bark, and wax, and in the case of the Eskimos, blubber.

That reminded my of something I've been told before about scripture. We need to meditate on scripture just like that cow in the field chewing her cud; or like your 12-year old chomping away on the hunk of Hubba Bubba. When you think of "meditating" on scripture, it is much less a clearing of your mind and more of a relaxed action.

Animals that chew their cud do so while resting. If I understand chewing of cud, an animal takes in the meal, thus extracting some of the nutrients. However, they are not able to get all of the good stuff on the first pass-through. So, later, they bring it back up for another go-around. They continue to do this, getting small amounts of good stuff over a long period of time. Now that makes sense to me when I apply it to scripture.

Sometimes I read something and it is good. Sometimes I read something and it seems like it is in another language--it just doesn't click with me. And there are other times that I get part of it on the first read-through, but if I think about it more later (chew it over) I get more and more. That is why the Bible is called "living and active"--it continually teaches us what we need to know in any situation or circumstance.

So, why don't you pick a verse today and read it not once, not twice, but throughout the day? Chew it up and see what new insights you can glean from it each time through. Don't stop with once--you might miss the good stuff. And besides, everybody knows that you only get the best bubbles after you've really worked that gum for awhile.

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