Thursday, July 26, 2012

Measuring Cup of Life What One Loaf of French Bread Taught Me About Life Part 2

In the world run on speed and efficiency, what could possibly justify exchanging a 5 second simple monetary transaction for a 5 hour convoluted process that cost you not only money but time, energy and focus which could be channeled into much more productive activity (like checking other people's Facebook status updates or playing Farmville)?!!!

I know for sure that not every loaf consumed in our house is going to be home-made for despite my glowing success, I am not a baker. Slowing down, however, in order to make bread helps me appreciate some truths not only about baking but also about life. The truths I tend to take for granted or completely miss when I inhale it (both food and life) at neck-breaking speed.


Bread is not an independent 'bread' substance. It is a creative product of several unrelated ingredients that sit dormant on the shelf in the pantry, like grounded and pulverized wheat, and salt, and a fermenting agent. Our life's ingredients are a creative, unique, unrepeatable mixture of people (family, friends, enemies, neighbors, co-workers), personal and global events (births, deaths, marriages, promotions, demotions), choices, responses, rest, responsibilities, dreams, failures, emotions, heritage, environment, times and places. Some things in our lives we have control over. Some we don't. The latter far outnumber the former. Every day, we wake up to a life's pantry full of known and unknown ingredients and we ask God and ask ourselves a question:

What are we going to bake today?


When baking bread, each ingredient has to be carefully measured, for bread is not made with 3 1/2 cups of salt and two teaspoons of flour. In life also, there is a sense of measure and proportion, a balance that produces a life that is well-rounded, nourished and nourishing to others. Too much or too little of anything disrupts that balance and creates a problem in our own as well as in other people's lives.


Just because I have all ingredients on the counter doesn't mean I throw them all together at the same time. There are steps that need to be followed in a prescribed order. In life, we call this priorities. As somebody said,

The main thing is to keep the main thing main thing.

My relationship with Jesus Christ is THE main thing. Every day my number one priority is to ensure that I join Him in baking what is on His menu for my life. This encompasses listening to Him, communicating with Him and doing His will in His way, empowered by His Spirit. Sometimes it means letting go of my own menu. Some days I must choose to either accept or decline an invitation to help somebody else cook in their kitchen.

My relationship with my family - my husband and my children - are of the same priority order, for this is where my relationship with Christ is being manifested and practiced on the most basic, fundamental level. If we can't make it work in our family, what right do I have to go out and mess up somebody else's kitchen?!! This is where love, grace, truth, forgiveness and growth take root in each of our lives. From here on, in ever increasing circles, our life expands and ripples out into the furthest corners of the world by the virtue of our relationships with other people and by the virtue of the work God has called us to do.

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