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Why You’ll Never See Me on MasterChef or Chopped

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I have a sweet posse of friends who really believe in me. We hang out together on Facebook.

One of them noticed that MasterChef was running auditions, and sweetly encouraged me, “You gotta go give that a try!”

Because they’re nice, (and because, after all,  wouldn’t it be fun to know the girl on the reality TV show, and be able to cheer her on? ) before you know it there was a small facebook pile-on, with several women insisting that I would “crush the competition”. Now, let’s suspend the obvious discussion of whether I might, or might not, be in possession of the talent to be able to “cut it” on “Chopped” or MasterChef. This post is not about that.

I’d never seen MasterChef before, although I love the show “Chopped” with a passion that is reserved for die-hard NFL football fans, so I tuned in yesterday for several episodes, and found myself hooked. They do a good job of sucking you in and creating “good guys” that you love to cheer for, and through some excellent editing, they also help create characters  so obnoxious that you maybe really wouldn’t mind so much seeing go down in flames.

Chopped this off my bucket list :-D
Why I’ve chopped “Chopped” off my bucket list.

Here’s what I’ve noticed, that holds true on Chopped as well as Master Chef, but is made especially clear in the audition shows on MasterChef: the judges claim to want someone who has “the eye of the tiger”. They want someone who will mug for the camera and proclaim, “I will be the next Chopped Champion”. Or “I am the next Master Chef”.  In fact, on MasterChef, the contestants who don’t go in big, proclaiming themselves to be “all that and a bag of chips”, are told to their face, “We don’t think you have what it takes to make it in this competition.”

But I’ll tell you what I think. 

I think it’s more likely that some of the contestants that they’re talking to about “not having what it takes”, are more likely merely lacking in what it takes to provide obvious drama-fodder for the editors.

But who says that to be strong, and competent, you have to proclaim it from the rooftops, yourself?

Who says that to be “the best”, you have to act like a j@ck@ss?
Apologies to my friend,  Jack.

I’d like to take a moment to remind you, as I remind myself, daily, of two very pivotal, formative scriptures, that work well in tandem. Here’s the first: 
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Here’s the other one: 
Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Now, I don’t know about you, but having God oppose me just doesn’t sound enticing. It sounds like walking into a poker game where the deck has been stacked against me.
And in the paraphrased words of one of my favorite preachers: 
God has a job.
And you have a job.
Your job is to humble yourself.
God’s job is to lift you up. 
It’s very important for you to do your job, and let Him do His job.
Because if you do His job, He’s going to have to do your job.
And really?
You don’t want that.

It’s not that I don’t have a fire within my spirit to do my best.
I do.
I always remember that verse that talks about “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.”
And that’s how I am, when I’m involved in the creative process.
So, if I’m cooking, I want to produce a beautiful product, that tastes wonderful, and that is made with delicious, healthy ingredients. (Not processed junk.) I want to make something that is excellent.
Or if I’m writing, I want to produce a clear, cogently written piece: something that people can relate to, something that encourages, and inspires people to take action, to change their life for the better.

But, personally,  I’m just not going to mug for the camera and proclaim myself the “Next Best Thing”, as if that demonstrates some kind of strength. It doesn’t. Every single one of those people who say that will be proven wrong in these competitions, except for the one person who happens to come out as the winner. Will that person’s win prove that they wanted it more than someone else? That they are stronger? Better people? I doubt it. All it will really prove, for the most part, is that on that day, they won that particular contest.

Will I watch the contest they’ve entered, and enjoy it?
Heck, yeah! 😀

Will I be proclaiming myself as “the best” at whatever?
Heck, no.
Not going to do God’s job, because I’m not a fan of the thought that He’ll feel called upon to do mine.

Besides, there’s a silent, inner strength and humility that I admire so much more than all the sound, fury and fanfare that people sometimes drum up, to try to create a particular image. They spin their webs, attempting to weave an aura of mystique around themselves. 
I wish them well, but that’s not for me.
I have one main audience that I’m striving to please, and His praise matters more to me than the praise of a team of judges on a reality show.
He’s my silent witness, but He’s always with me. 
In fact, He’s made me a promise: Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.
I’m banking on that. I’m building my life around that promise.
So, thanks for the great entertainment, MasterChef, Chopped, and thanks to all of your producers, editors, cast, and crew. I truly do enjoy watching your show!
Who doesn’t love a good pot boiler? 😀
But to my dear posse, who thought it would be fun to cheer me on, on said show?
This post kind of sums up why I think it’s not for me.


Thursday 10th of October 2013

You are an awesome chef/ cook. Your dishes always look so delicious! I have been a fan of Chopped for a while now but I so agree about the drama. Really good post!


Saturday 14th of September 2013

Your job is to humble yourself. God’s job is to lift you up. It’s very important for you to do your job, and let Him do His job. Because if you do His job, He’s going to have to do your job. And really? You don’t want that.

LOVE this and will be quoting it in the future!

I have made the same observations, and you do a good job of expressing what I was thinking.

Amy R

Saturday 14th of September 2013

Susan, you would LOVE Australian MasterChef. Mike and I often comment on the different attitudes of the contestants, and just the more positive 'feel' of the Australian version.