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By Cheryl Petersen

In upstate New York, where winter weather causes treacherous driving conditions, salt is
generously scattered on the icy roads. Salt lowers the freezing point, causing the ice to melt.
Needless to say, at 5 a.m., in minus 5 degree weather when I am driving to work, I find salt
extremely useful. Salt is interesting. I also use salt in the kitchen, as a preservative or seasoning
for food. And, it doesn¶t surprise me that Christ Jesus was mentioned as using salt in a metaphor.
Bible readers are counseled not to lose their saltiness, because, ³You are the salt of the earth.´
Bear in mind, all metaphors need to be taken with a grain of salt!
Admittedly, salt promotes traffic safety. However, the fact is, our New York vehicles are
getting rusted out galore. Salt may preserve food, but it is corrosive to metals. Furthermore, on
the subject of food, salt provides a tasteful flavor²usually²but too much salt tastes awful and
can be harmful.
Too much, too little, useful here, but harmful there. Though it might not seem so, the salt
metaphor attributed to Christ Jesus wasn¶t intended to send our thought process in frenzied
circles. We can think or reason with inspiration. Therefore, we can develop the metaphor and
gain deeper meanings that improve our quality of life. Here is an example.
Regarding the salt metaphor, salt symbolizes an influence.
We are all influences, whether we want to admit it or not. We can be a tasteful influence. Or,
we can be tasteless; not only insipid, but also unwelcoming. And then there is the infamous bad
influence; the conformist to self-destruction, or material conservatism.
Aside from the menagerie of human influences, good or bad, we have the influence of God,
Spirit, which is such that God¶s nature, our spiritual goodness, is influentially manifest. Spiritual
goodness can become the predominating factor in our daily experience.
Just the other day, at my job, Joey, one of my co-workers was bad-mouthing Sandra, another
co-worker. Joey¶s attitude wasn¶t only tasteless humor, but also the emergence of a vendetta. I
simply said to Joey, Sandra¶s personality doesn¶t bother me, we work well together to get the job
done, and it will stay that way because there are many jobs to do here.
Joey was quiet. But, not troubled. He knew we all can sometimes be crabby or have
personality issues; however, those quirks don¶t have any more influence than we give them.
I don¶t know when Joey will no longer have a personal ire toward Sandra, but Joey now is
aware of the influential fact that at least he and I will continue to work well together to get our
jobs done. A good start.
But, what if some people would rather stay isolated and nurse their personal campaigns? What
if the saltiness has been lost? Guaranteed, a palatable influence will still come into effect,
somehow and somewhere, because infinite God is a far cry from seclusion or exclusion. The key
is not to determine the how and where. God, Spirit is universal and often speaks through the
modest, yet tasteful hearts. From 21st Century Science and Health, ³Let us pay attention and
participate in spirituality.´
We can appreciate the salt of the earth. We can keep being the salt of the earth. We do not
even need to fear a new direction in our life in order for that saltiness to be manifest. Oh sure,
envy and accusatory minds will try to dismiss or trample on the salt of the earth, but anything
unlike God will eventually drown in the earth¶s oceans of salt.