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Recipe for Life

Some things you just have to learn by doing.

That was yesterday’s final email in an exchange with my daughter, now in law school, who asked, “Okay. I ordered chicken breasts through Peapod, but how do I cook them????????????????” And yes, there is much angst contained in those ???s

This is a capable young woman, smart as a whip, aces tests, papers. She’s logical, athletic, coordinated, beautiful and she has no idea how to cook a chicken breast.

Some things you’re not born with and nobody sits you down to explain step by step on the chalkboard. (Although truth be told, we did make numerous efforts to teach her the basics, to which she responded, “Pfft. I know how to do that.”) Some things you just have to learn by doing.

I have found life is that way for me. Sure, there are cookbooks. Yes, as a Christian I have the Bible. And I believe the recipes for life are right there. But I must be about working out the details in order to get it right. A pinch more of this. A dash more of that.

Who am I kidding? I would like to think it was pinches and dashes. But no, more often there are:

  • things burned to a crisp that beg me to listen for the oven beep.
  • desperate efforts to extract the tablespoon that was supposed to be a teaspoon of that.
  • forgotten ingredients because I was in a rush.
  • substitutions made because I forgot to put THAT on the grocery list.

Nope. I am not a great cook. But I do make a mean zucchini bread. And I am learning that tossing ingredients in the crock pot just to see how they taste often works out just fine. Hey, if not, we chew and smile and make a note not to make THAT again.

And isn’t that the Christian life, really? Read the Book. Follow the directions. Taste and see. Evaluate your effort. Repeat.

Somehow in the doing, we get better and better. Funny how we obsess about what we bring to the table. Christ told us bread and wine was enough. Our families, however, demand chicken and rice. I can do that.

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