Scrambling Forward (Angel in the Kitchen)

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We once hosted some guests who quite inadvertently reminded us of an important lesson. Which we’ll now pass on to you, dear reader. Because it’s, ahem, eggs-actly what we need.

One of our guests, when asked how she wanted her breakfast eggs, quickly responded scrambled. When she came downstairs to join her husband at the kitchen table, she found him about to enjoy two of the loveliest fried eggs you’ve ever seen. They were nestled between a couple slices of ham and a pile of hash browns. Contentedly occupying his plate like twin smiley faces. (Hey, we aim to please at Woodhaven.) His wife stared, as he eagerly cut through an egg and the warm yolk mingled with the ham and hash browns. Then she announced she wanted to cancel the scrambled eggs and have them fried instead.

One very big problem: her eggs had been cracked open, whisked together, and were in the process of being scrambled in a skillet with several pats of butter! Too late, we said, a little bewildered. These were the last two eggs in the house, they were now being scrambled, and you can’t unscramble eggs. Period. You got scrambled eggs, lady. Bon appetit. As with anything in life, next time, you need to know what you want, understand what’s involved, make better plans, and be careful not to break any yolks. Meanwhile, all is not lost. Scrambled eggs are great, especially with crispy bacon and toast!

It’s going to be all right! Just add buttered toast and some nice crispy bacon!

Same goes for life. We make mistakes. We make the wrong decisions. We break our promises and get our priorities scrambled. We make a jumble of our relationships. But we cannot unscramble the messes we make. Certain situations in our lives may no longer be appealing, but we can’t rewrite history. We can’t reclaim the rich, golden yolks of opportunities missed, or repair a fragile relationship once it’s cracked apart. What we can do is to live and learn: Live to our utmost potential, with God’s infinite love and strong support: and when we do fail (and we will, repeatedly), Learn from our failings.

We all have regrets. If we had time machines, many of us would spend so much time in our pasts, trying to fix things, that we’d miss out on what the future holds. The Apostle Paul once wrote: “I don’t mean to say that … I have already reached perfection. …No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on….” (Philippians 3:12-13 NLT)

We can’t unscramble our past mistakes. So learn the lessons they teach, but put the mistakes behind you. And then move forward. Everyday provides new opportunities. 2020 is upon us. Let’s embrace it with genuine optimism and gladness in our hearts!

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The Pot or the Prize? (Diet for Dreamers)

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There’s an old adage: “A watched pot never boils.” That’s not true, of course. Apply sufficient heat and wait long enough, and a pot of soup will eventually start bubbling no matter who’s paying attention. But when we’re impatiently waiting for something — like a response to a letter, the answer to a prayer, even the fulfillment of a dream — it can feel like an eternity, leading us to believe, “It’s never going to happen!”

Sitting around waiting is not good for morale. Nor is it productive. That’s why actors quickly learn it doesn’t pay to sit by the phone. The call from an agent concerning a part in a new play or TV commercial will come sooner or later, and waiting by the phone does nothing to speed the process.

That’s why writers are told to submit their material and immediately start working on the next project. The longer a creative person waits for a yes or no, an acceptance or a rejection, the more frustrated he or she tends to get. And time spent simply waiting is time wasted. Waiting for something to happen — a prayer to be answered, a financial nest egg to hatch, a long-held dream to come true — to the exclusion of more productive activities, can drive you crazy. It’s similar to being on a trip with a carload of restless kids, with one of them asking every five minutes, “Are we there yet?”

Sigh!! No, replies the driver for the hundredth time, as he or she begins to wonder if they’ll ever reach their destination! The impatience of the passengers makes the trip feel longer and more tiresome. However, once the kids settle down with a toy or a comic book, and the driver switches on some music, the miles seem to go by more quickly. And before the kids know it, the driver is parking the car.

Getting back to the proverbial pot, we can run to the kitchen every 2 minutes to see if it’s boiling yet, or we can relax — knowing that we don’t need to micromanage it — while we accomplish something else. Similarly, when you’re expecting a new development in a business venture or creative project, or for God to move on your behalf, it pays to focus your mental and physical energies on something else. There are always better ways to spend your time than constantly checking your email or the stock reports! If you’ve done your part, leave the rest to God; things tend to progress and work out just fine … without us over-scrutinizing them.

Focus on the bigger picture, your long-term goals and dreams, instead of sweating over the results of every little step you take or decision you choose. Remember, Jesus asked, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27 KJV) “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.” (Matthew 6:34 NAS 1977)

So, continue to pursue your dreams, but don’t get sidetracked by a preoccupation with minor details, or how well each step is going (or not going). Focus instead on your destination. Keep your eyes on the prize — not on the pot! “…And having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13 KJV)

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