I believe in soup. That’s right: S-O-U-P. Some people call it God, some spirituality, others religion . . . but it’s all soup to me. I guess I’ve been searching for many years to find a spiritual philosophy that fits for me. And for a long time nothing felt comfortable: but now, for me, soup is the perfect food.
So let me explain . . . Spirituality (or God or religion . . .) is like a huge tureen of soup with something of everything in it. People from all different places, backgrounds, and experiences come to the tureen, each with his or her own ladle. The tureen contains all ingredients, everything in its entirety, a perfect potage. But the ladles are miniscule compared with the tureen, and they can only contain a tiny amount at a time. Some people believe that soup is made only of beef and potatoes, carrots and broth. And for those people, that’s always what they find in their ladles: nothing more, nothing less. Others may believe in the fundamentals of soup, say stock and salt, but they sip from the tureen with a willing palate, ready to sample whichever morsels their ladles yield at the time. Still others are not the least bit interested in soup, and feel that one can live a perfectly happy healthy life without ever tasting soup. And indeed, they manage to do just that, nourishing their lives with completely soupless repast. I have sipped from each of these ladles at some point in my life, and I have been enriched by every drop.
I love soup. But even more, I love to sample it and savor it. Sometimes I enjoy the combination of flavors, but find that it needs a little . . . something. Other times, I come across a bitter ingredient, spit it out and avoid it with every new mouthful. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for soup or I refuse to visit the tureen unless I am truly hungry. For now, I am content to go back to this brimming vessel of delicious soup for second, third, and fourth helpings, enjoying the variety every time and knowing that I will likely never eat my fill.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.