What is it about PIZZA?
I know that I’m not in college, nor am I in my 20s, anymore but PIZZA still seems to be “God’s Perfect Food” (aside from bacon and M&Ms). I just had some with friends the other night and thought once moe: “What IS it about “Pizza”?
At first, I thought it was the compact design. It’s meat (sometimes), cheese, tomato and grains…really, not a bad combination. I LIVED and SURVIVED on PIZZA in college, and not just PIZZA, but PIZZA at 9:00pm, midnight, and sometimes for breakfast. I love pepperoni, but THAT’S not draws me to it. I really have always loved cheese…but even THAT isn’t where the “magic” is, necessarily. How about the crust? Well, it IS a bread product and I always crave more of that – but even THAT isn’t what calls to me.
Then I stepped back and took a look from a distance. I saw that PIZZA isn’t only a food, it is a common denominator for getting together with people…relaxing, visiting, and connecting with friends and family.
When I was a high school student in the 70s pizza parlors were a very popular thing – even in my small-ish hometown. It was during those years I was introduced to not only the “superfood” that would keep me alive in later years, but the entire societal structure of “Pizza”.
There were a group of us who met at a great place I can still see in my minds eye. It wasn’t really about the pizza, although delicious, it was the moment...it was the time together. We would laugh (if you can imagine any friends of mine gathering for laughter…I know, difficult to believe) at the big, highly-glossed wooden tables, to the sounds of “PONG” (remember THAT video game?), “GALAGA”, OR “PACMAN”. In the background, the latest BILLY JOEL or ELTON JOHN single would be playing. And we all knew we would pay for this time away from homework, or studying for a test, the next day.
In college, the pattern continued: friends together actually DOING homework, or meeting after an event, or late, late at night (sometimes working on papers THROUGH the night, and more often than not, cold PIZZA was my breakfast of choice) but always, laugher, love, friendship, work…together, in a community where we got to know each other and became involved in each other’s lives. It wasn’t in class that this happened, it was around…
…a pizza. Its round shape/wheel/hub, connecting all of us…it is more than food, it is “LIVE”.
Isn’t that sort of thing what life is all about?
As strange, as flip, or as funny as it seems, the answer is probably, “YES”. Jesus wants it that way…not PIZZA particularly, but ANYTHING that will get us connecting with each other.
Being a BELIEVER & FOLLOWER (sometimes labeled as, “being a Christian”) requires us to understand that OUR faith journey with Jesus is not ABSTRACT, but ACTION.
It is not CONTEMPLATIVE, but COMMUNITY.
It is not SOLITARY, but SOCIAL.
Our faith is NOT faith unless it is PRACTICED WITH OTHERS.
Why do you think that the most significant lesson about Jesus’ connection and gift to you and me is a meal? Because it’s not supposed to be ONLY between He and you (or me), but with you, me, and others…that’s why it’s called “Communion” (as in, “community”, “commune”, “communist”- OK, maybe THAT’s not the best word…but the other two work well).
PIZZA: It’s a communal food. All great chefs will tell you that there is a difference between “eating” and “dining“. “Eating” gives you nourishment, and can be done alone. “Dining” is an event which transcends the meal itself. “Dining” is an event to be shared between people around you, around a table, perhaps around a pizza.
As Jesus shows us: We are in THIS place and time to realize the only true and eternal “currency” we have is our connection, in love, with one another. If PIZZA will get you to look in the face of another person – to laugh, cry, love and share with them – then Jesus’ words “Love one another” will be realized AND practiced...and HE will be known and loved.
We who BELIEVE & FOLLOW the One God need more “pizza” in our lives…because we need more of each other in our lives, so we can “see” Jesus.
(P.S. – I am not a paid spokesperson for SCAMPY’S ANNEX, simply a happy customer wishing you more, quality, “Pizza Time”)