Taste is the fourth sense I’m looking at this week in my five day exploration of the senses.
Have you ever read any food reviews? They are often filled with flowery descriptions that include the presentation of the dish, the texture, the colour and whether it’s been properly seasoned. Very rarely do they ever describe the actual taste of the dish except to say it was good, bad or otherwise. They describe the whole experience.
This is because no one can accurately describe the taste of something unless the reader has already tasted the dish or something similar. It’s why so many things taste like chicken. It’s the closest comparison people can make that matches their understanding of an unusual dish.
For example, the only way I can describe vegemite to someone who has never met its distinct flavour, is to detail the key ingredients. I can explain to you that it’s salty because there is a large amount of salt in it. Most people know what salt tastes like, so I know you will begin to gain a vague inkling about vegemite. I can add that it can taste rather yeasty as well. You might think that means it tastes like bread, or perhaps beer. Neither is exact. You won’t truly know what it tastes like unless you find a jar of the gnarly stuff and brave a taste test.
Taste to the tongue is like colour to the eye. If you’ve never experienced anything like it, then you won’t be able to fully understand it or even appreciate it regardless of how well someone might be able to describe it. So too is our faith.
We can describe our faith to someone. We can explain what Jesus did for us. We can offer encouragement based on God’s word. We can teach Christian truths. We can tell people that God loves them and we can tell them how much God has changed our lives. We can even show them. But they can’t truly understand what faith is before they take that leap into God’s arms.
Some people call themselves experts on the scriptures. Some dedicate their lives to researching the historical accuracy of biblical events. Some attend church every Sunday. But if they haven’t accepted Christ into their lives, then they are not saved and they have no real understanding of what faith means.
To be saved they must take that step themselves. We can’t do it for them. We can promote God’s Kingdom, we can pray for them, but only God can change their heart and only they can decide to accept what God offers.