Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed and got a bit jealous? People seem to be having these exciting lives and perfect families. Midst the images of incredibly beautiful children and perfectly decorated homes, it’s hard to remember that social media doesn’t always give us an accurate picture of what’s going on. In fact, it hardly ever does. 

In the book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof, the authors call this image of perfection, “Stock Family Syndrome.” Joiner and Nieuwhof explain that we don’t have to be perfect…God uses broken people to communicate His message of restoration and redemption. In that spirit, I would like to share a photo of a recent Mercer-family meal.

That used to be salmon. I prepared the fish just right with some homemade tarter sauce, bread crumbs, seasoned salt, and olive oil. Then I put the filets on some tinfoil and put them on the grill at medium heat. (Impressed yet?) However, despite a seemingly “perfect” beginning, I completely forgot to roll up the sides of the foil and the salmon caught on fire. And not just any fire—this thing went up in flames!

Not surprisingly, I was annoyed. But the longer we looked at the charred remains of one of our favorite dishes, we just started to laugh. I was told that I was no longer allowed to grill salmon. (It was only my second time.) Now some of you are thinking I did this on purpose to get out of kitchen duty, but I’m not that smart. Really.

This, by all accounts, was a ruined meal but the thing is…it wasn’t. It’s life. Sometimes your plans go up in flames and that’s okay. I’ll bet when our kids gather at our house as adults with their own families someone will tell the story of how dad caught the salmon on fire.  And we’ll laugh all over again.  That right there makes it a perfect meal.

–Pastor Robert

The Dinner Disaster?