Playing ketchup

I recently saw a ketchup ad for a famous brand that showed ketchup pouring out of a bottle very slowly, accompanied by the song “At Last.” It reminded me of being a child and waiting for ketchup to pour out on my hamburger agonizingly slowly.

Some brands are watered down and pouring isn’t a problem anymore—except for the lack of flavor. Some brands now come in plastic squeeze bottles for impatient folks like me or in small plastic packs that you tear open and squeeze out. But I’m talking about the narrow-necked glass bottles which gave you no alternative except to wait.

I remember getting so impatient for my ketchup. I’d try shaking the bottle. Then I’d pound on the bottom. Sometimes, I even resorted to pushing a knife up into the bottle to get my ketchup. But most often, I’d just have to wait until the ketchup gradually began to pour out in its own time.

I overslept the other morning and woke up feeling like I had to pound on that proverbial ketchup bottle. I kept pushing for things to hurry up, so I wouldn’t be late for an appointment. I even tried shortcuts and raced through yellow traffic lights just to get through. I felt like I was literally playing catch-up.

Then I realized that life is like that ketchup bottle. Things move in their own time and, in our impatience, we can shake and pound, but events will pour out as they’re meant to. Some of the best things in life are slow—slow songs, slow sunsets, slow kisses, and even slow ketchup.

Joyce Suttin

Joyce Suttin is a retired teacher, writer, and frequent contributor to Activated magazine. She lives in San Antonio Texas with her husband and has an on-line ministry excerpting, editing, and writing inspirational material.