Cheddared cheese

But God makes us fruitful in old age

Psalm 92:1-4, 13-15 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night. … You make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done … Planted in the house of the Lord, the righteous will still bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Dave and I have just enjoyed a few days on the coast of Oregon at a lovely camp founded by Quakers almost a hundred years ago. Twice a year we reconnect with the International Ministry Team (IMT), our place to “belong” within OC International.

Don’t you love the duck on Edwin’s head?

It’s a diverse, experienced team working literally all around the world, led by the former president of OCI. It’s a privilege to profit from the wisdom gleaned from years of committed cross-cultural impact across a spectrum of ministry genres. We soak in marvelous stories of God’s love and faithfulness through often-harrowing circumstances.

My favorite part of these gatherings is worshiping the Lord with these lovely people. Half the team is older than we are. They model for us the words of Psalm 92. Rather than just getting old and crotchety and self-centered, they passionately proclaim the worthiness of the Lord to receive our praise. And believe me, their experiences in life have been anything but easy. They have made choices along the way—hundreds, maybe thousands of choices—to seek and find the Lord through their tough times. They have planted their feet on the Rock and found him to be their solid foundation through every storm.

Mid-week, we take a break from meetings to explore a local attraction of the place where we’ve gathered. This time we toured a cheese factory—Tillamook Creamery, a few miles down the coast. Our team leader, Greg, challenged me to write a blog applying something from this tour to our spiritual lives. So here we go:

Entrance to Tillamook Creamery, Tillamook, Oregon

Cheese, like wine, is valued according to how long it has aged.

Of course, good cheese requires good ingredients and a careful process of separation of the curds from the whey. But the time comes when it just needs to rest. Nothing more can be done for the cheese than to leave it alone and let the rennet do its thing, “cheddaring” (further acidifying) the cheese.

Cutting and packaging cheese that has been aging for months!

I didn’t know “cheddar” is a verb! While the cheese is resting, cheddaring is going on, enhancing the flavor and hardness of the cheese.

How often do I rest and let the special ingredient in me, the Holy Spirit, refine me and enhance my “flavor”?

The answer to that question may determine whether, in my old age, I still have something positive to offer those around me, instead of getting grumpy and gripey. Because GOD is faithful, I want to sing for joy until the end of my days. Don’t you?

2 thoughts on “Cheddared cheese

  1. This really is a wonderful blog and special memory of our outing with the team. I love the fotos you included and how your summarized the cheddaring process to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers as we age!! Wonderful insight, Debbie!

    Liked by 1 person

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