The Yam Principle

by Harriett Bennett

Yam I Am:

Ever take a good look at a raw yam or sweet potato as most of us call it? I did early this morning when one rolled off the counter and my foot (heroically) lessened the potato’s full impact with the floor when I didn’t move my toes fast enough out of its path. Truly a sacrificial gesture made by my toes so that others might enjoy it later.

sweet potatoesAs I picked it up, I vented my pain through a few choice words under my breath (GOD is not through with me — or you — yet), thinking it deserved to feel what I felt and then realized that potatoes don’t have feelings…right? Hey, don’t judge me. I’m sleep-deprived. But instead, the “yamologist” in me began to take a closer look at the properties of this popular vegetable. The yam is really not the best-looking thing. No two are alike. They are all shapes, weights, sizes, colors, and conditions — some bruised — some stately, some bent over. The skin is not much use, and I can’t recall anyone liking it raw. So yes, based on the naked eye, our first impression could be that there’s nothing sweet-looking about it. Does that also mean we don’t dare partake because of its look? I think not. While God didn’t say let there be sweet potato pie, the Bible tells us as God saw the earth bring forth vegetation, He saw that it was good (Gen. 1:12).

Do you ever see the “yam in the mirror”? If we take that literally and figuratively, applying it to how we view and interact with each other, giving that yam a chance to be used to show how delicious it is and how many ways it can be used for our good, we can begin to understand why it’s important that we not dismiss something or someone based on what we only see with the naked eye. The Yam Principle is a charge to find the value in the raw, the rough, and the reluctant ones, to build a real relationship, and the best “Proving Ground” will be on Thanksgiving Day.

“Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4 ESV).

Applying The Yam Principle:

This Thanksgiving, I don’t know what encounter awaits each of us at various gatherings. Will it be like a Disney movie, This Is Us, a reality show, or The Twilight Zone? Will the LIGHT in you shine through?

These are the times that try men’s souls and holidays usually top the list. Even as we meet, greet, and eat, remember the Yam Principle and how even a warm “hello”, can stop these three ladies in their tracks: MisUnderstanding, MisConception, and MisCommunication. That’s when the Yam Principle works best. In All Ways, Be Always Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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