Not long ago we discussed the “Junk Food” of life, those guilty pleasures in which we frequently overindulge — such as TV, sports, video games, etc. — and how we need to balance our “diet” with healthier fare: specifically,
reading the Word of God. We enjoy making these analogies between food and the Holy Scriptures, and we contemplated writing today’s post on “health food” (spiritual nutrition: which we need in order to stay spiritually strong and avoid getting “sick”: again, reading the Word of God.) However, we think you get the point. So ... today we discuss the beauty of baking.
Baking isn’t as easy as preparing other types of foods, for a few simple reasons. First, you usually have to stick to the instructions! And follow them in order! Plus, you shouldn’t add anything that’s not listed. Or subtract anything. Or substitute anything. It’s like a science. Deviate from the proven formula and the cake may fall, the pie may turn out pathetic.
Despite the number of cookbooks sold each year, most cooks rarely refer to written instructions of any kind. They just walk into the kitchen and do their own thing. They stand in front of the range and start to boogie, waving a big spoon in one hand, while shaking out spices with other.
When cooking veggies, for instance, it’s easy to toss in some extra butter and seasonings. And as a result, the dish is usually greatly improved. Cooks tend to do a lot of this sort of thing. They stir the broth, taste it, and then decide it needs something. They add a teaspoon of this and a sprinkle of that. If they’re whipping up one of their favorite recipes and they don’t have one of the necessary ingredients, they improvise! Through experience, they’ve learned that they can make smart substitutions and sometimes even leave stuff out. Or add stuff — strictly in the name of science — like an extra stick of butter!!! Generally, the dish turns out just as tasty, perhaps even better. But if you try to do this when baking, you’re courting disaster.
Life is NOT like cooking. We often approach it, however, as though it were. In our relationships, our ways of thinking and behaving, we act like we can do our own thing and everything will magically turn out okay. We improvise, make substitutions, leave stuff out, throw stuff in. We often don’t refer to God’s recipe for success in life.
Life is like baking. If we want it to turn out right, we need to follow the directions — in order. So where do “bakers” turn for instruction? Specifically … the Word of God. (Betcha didn’t see that one coming.) Moreover, when following God’s instructions, you can’t leave anything out, or add anything, or make substitutions. Just. Follow. The directions!
No baker worth his or her flour ever deviates from what works, and then wonders why their bread is dry or chewy or looks like a gooey mess on the inside. They follow instructions and have great success. (the real Baker’s Joy!) And that, dear friends, is the simplicity and the sheer Beauty of Baking!
Moral of this little analogy? When in the kitchen, have fun, sling the spices, do your own thing. But in life, follow the instructions in the Holy Scriptures. That way you’ll experience the Baker’s Joy! “Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.” (Joshua 1:7 NLT)