I wrote this post a few years ago, but I hope you’ll still find it thought provoking this week. Are you following God’s recipe or doing your own thing hoping it’ll turn out alright?
I love recipes. But, I hate to be bound to them. They infringe on my creative ability to add and subtract ingredients at will. Recipes are just so restrictive with their one cup of this and one tablespoon of that. Why not add a little more of the ingredients you like (say butter?) and a little less of the ones you don’t (say baking soda? It doesn’t taste good…)
But, as you may have guessed, my lack of perfectionism in my cooking leads to some different outcomes. Tastes, textures, done-ness, and general edibility can all be affected by the liberties I take with the measuring spoons and cups.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about living in this age is that you can google just about any ingredients combination add the word recipe to your search, and find a dinner plan. I love, love, love this. I still own many cookbooks from a decade ago when this wasn’t possible. And, though I reference them occasionally, they can’t compete with all the info one Pinterest search of “chicken” and “salsa” will find me.
The other great thing about recipe sites are the reviews. I love it when people reply, “Yes, this was fantastic!” or “No, this did not cook in the time it said above.” That’s helpful, too.
But, what I’ve also noticed people do in those reviews is say things like, “I left this out and added this instead…” or “I didn’t use this amount, I only used this much.” Good to know. Sometimes.
The other day one of these comments caused me to laugh out loud. A reviewer criticized another reviewer’s comment with a statement like this, “I don’t think you can give the recipe one star and say that it didn’t taste very good when you confessed to making so many changes to the recipe and didn’t even use the called for ingredients.”
ZING! They got you there recipe critic!
How can you say you don’t LIKE the recipe if you aren’t actually USING the recipe? Right?
So, what does this have to do with anything we discuss here on Compared to Who? A lot I think. Follow me here.
How many times have you heard someone complain about something that you knew could be better, fixed, solved, or somehow alleviated if they were doing it the way God prescribed? How many times are we over stressed, over worked, over burdened, over anxious, over “insert your issue here”…but at the same time completely guilty of ignoring the recipe? Completely wrought with despair–not sure how to complete the course ahead–yet, not consulting God’s word and (I’m guilty here, too) not even praying about it!
It’s like we’ve got access to the world class chef who designed the recipe of our lives and yet, we don’t want to get him involved in what we are cooking or even look at the instructions he provided for us to cook from.
My favorite television show of the summertime is getting close to the finale. I have no idea why I even like it so much. It’s Master Chef (on Fox) – it’s about cooking and it’s people with other jobs who go through challenges to identify who is the best “home cook.” It might make sense for me to like it if I was an aspiring gourmet, but truth is, most of the time I don’t think I could stomach their creations. Sadly, my taste buds better suited for Cracker Barrel than these fancy restaurants. But, I love Gordon Ramsay shows. I love it when he pushes aspiring chefs to their limits.
If you’ve never seen the show, the premise is that amateur chefs cook for three top chefs and get praised and criticized. They don’t have recipes but finalists always have an innate sense of what goes well together and have an exceptional understanding of the basics of cooking. I think part of the reason I like it is I appreciate the fact that they are free to create with food.
But, here’s what I know. When it comes to my life, I’m not a Master Chef. I think I know a few things. (For example: butter, flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, a little salt and chocolate chips can work out very well together). But, how foolish would I be to try to put those same ingredients together with no knowledge of the recipe? What is the likelihood I would get the combinations right if I didn’t consult the back of the yellow Nestle’s bag? There’s no chance that my haphazard use of the ingredients would come out tasting like Toll House.
So here’s the question of the day? Have you spent any time reading the recipe this week? Have you spent any time with the Master Chef of the universe? What worries, troubles, or cares can following the recipe help you with today? Have you been ignoring the recipe completely and trying to experiment with doing your life, your way? How’s it tasting?
Unlike Chef Ramsay with a lousy chef, God is gracious and merciful. If things aren’t blending well, we have the opportunity to repent, turn, and He’ll take us back and help us get back on course. His recipe is sure to be better than anything we could create.
He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded. Proverbs 13:13