By MaryAlice Kolko

We recently got the Food Network at our house. I’m sure there were additional channels made available to us at the time of our cable upgrade, but I can’t say I spend much time watching them. I like food and watching people cook, whether it’s a demonstration or some sort of contest. I enjoy gleaning ideas from them to use in my own kitchen.


One of my favorite shows on this channel is called Chopped. Here’s how it works: It begins with four chefs. Each is given a basket containing four mystery ingredients. They are given a specific amount of time to make one dish featuring all the ingredients they were given. They find out what these items are just before the timer starts. And immediately, the chefs begin to cook.

They use what they know of the ingredients to combine them with other things, or they take chances on what they may not know and hope for the best. From pickled pig lips to sea cucumbers to licorice candies, they use all the things they’re given and every moment of time they have to put together a dish to wow the judges.

When time is called, whether or not they’ve finished, all activity stops. It’s time for the judges to taste the food. They offer compliments as well as criticism. They decide which dish is the least good. The chef who produced it is “chopped” from the competition and goes home, leaving the others to the next round and another mystery basket. After three rounds, the one chef remaining goes home with the title Chopped Champion.

I can’t help but compare this TV show with our lives as Christians. As the chefs do not choose what ingredients they will have to work with, we are not always in control of things that happen in our lives. As they use those ingredients to impress the judges, we are called to live our lives serving the Lord and bringing glory to God. As with the chefs, there is a clock running, but unlike them, we don’t know how long we have. The time will come when the clock stops and whatever we’re doing, wherever we are, we will stop. We will stand before the Lord, the Righteous Judge, and He will judge not the content of our plates, but the content of our hearts. If we’re honest, we all know… we should be chopped!

But it gets better. Because while those chefs get sent home and the show is over for them, we have an advocate with the Father. We have Christ beside us, and he has already covered those errors and missteps. He’s paid for our blunders and stupid decisions. When the Father looks at us and sees his Son, we won’t be “chopped,” oh, no. For us, the Father will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And instead of Chopped Champion, our title will be Child of God!