Don’t Trim the Pot Roast: finding your own legacy


Don’t Take your Pot Roast at Face Value

I remember a lot of stories my Dad told me about his childhood: one that’s always stuck with me has to do with his mom’s pot roast. 

For years my Grandma made pot roast this way: she’d cook it in the normal fashion, except for one thing.  She cut off the last quarter and set aside it to cook it differently, then place the 3/4 pot roast in the oven.  This went on for years.  It’s the way pot roast was made in my Grandma’s house and no one thought to question it…until my dad when he was about 12.

“Mom,” I can hear him saying, “how come you cut off the end of the pot roast like that?”

“What do you mean?” Grandma asks back politely.

“Why do you have to cut off the end of the pot roast?”

“Well…so it cooks faster.”  Twelve-year-old Dad, looking a bit confused, asks,

“Couldn’t you leave it together so and cook it for a bit longer.”

It’s at this point Grandma starts wondering herself why she’s always done this.  Which brings me to my first point:

(1) Know why!  Why do I do this?  Why do I hold the values I hold?  Why do I believe what I believe?  Whether you are a follower of Christ or not the advice He gives to “give an answer for the hope within you” is sound.  Know why you act, think, believe, the way you do. It makes you stronger to know why instead of just following blindly.  Faith is not following blind, but following despite the pressure to stop because you know that following is what’s right.

Make the Call

So Grandma got to thinking about this question my 12-year-old Dad had asked.  She called the expert, her mom, because the only reason for cutting off the end of the roast is because she watched her mom do it for years.

“Mom,” she asks, “how come you always cut off the end of the pot roast when you made one?”  This, of course, is the kind of question we all should ask when we don’t understand something we do, or think, or say, or feel.  Why am I doing this?  What’s my reasoning? If there isn’t one we need to take stock and analyze our life, job situation, etc.

I’ll never forget my Great-Grandma’s answer!  Honestly, it’s the only thing I know she said from her whole life.  It’s both simple and profound at the same time.  “Evie,” she said, “because we never had a pan big enough to fit the whole thing.”

So what’s my G-G-ma trying to tell us?  Know why!  Don’t just blindly do something because it’s something your parents did.  If it’s a job, like the situation I am currently in (and getting out of) don’t do the job because “it’s what your family does”.  God might have something different in store for you than what He asked your parents to do.  If it’s your faith, if your “ticket to Heaven” begins with a sentence like “My (random family member) went to church all the time so I’m good!” let me offer you this: “God has children, not grandchildren.” He wants you to be a child of God all on your own.

Make your own plan happen.  You were not made to live another person’s life.






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