There are things in life that we are good at times and therefore take for granted especially when we have done them for a long time. This is especially true if it is things that we do well, naturally and with little or no thought. What do you think would happen if one day you set out to do the thing you have always done well and it doesn’t work? Take a moment to think about.
Recently, that very thing happened to me and I was devastated. Growing up in our home there were things we had to learn to do to enable us to survive. We had to do well in school, be good at all we did and be able to take care of the home which included cooking, cleaning and any other task at hand. I had a great interest in the kitchen and so I was encouraged me to begin to do these things. I was in the kitchen cooking on a stool from when I was six years old and by the age of eleven, I could bake. From that point on my mother and sister were relived of baking duties and I thrived in that department. Over the years I gained experience and for those who have tasted my cakes can attest they are nice.
Over time, I have played with and adapted recipes time and again to suit the situation, style or size I needed. However, for the first time in over twenty years of baking things changed. An acquaintance asked if I could bake a milk cake. A what? Ok, let me be honest, I had never heard of a milk cake or if I had, I had dismissed the whole notion. My initial response was to laugh and then forget the discussion. However, I was prompted again after a few days so I googled it and sure enough there are hundreds if not thousands of milk cake recipes with varying complexities. After a long search, I selected a recipe and tried it. Voila…it was easy as brushing my teeth…one try and it was all good, even better than good. It was my new favourite cake. I sent a taste piece out and it was approved and the order placed.
Remember I am confident about my skills so I simply mixed another batch of the cake and put it in the oven and waited for it to cook. Lo and Behold, when I pulled it out of the oven it was cooked but had sunk in the centre. What? How did this happen? Absolutely confident that I could remedy the situation, I mixed another batch and put it to cook. Once again the same thing happened…it cooked through but sunk. This time, I almost fell. My lil man saw my face and actually came to give me a hug to make me feel better. How could this be happening to me? I was sure I had followed the recipe to the letter and I was a seasoned baker! Over the next three days I re-tried the recipe again and the same thing happened and now I really had to stop and think.
As I worked through the process I asked a series of questions to find out what was missing:
- Were the quantities right?
- Was the process right?
- Was the temperature right?
- Where did I go wrong?
After some thinking and questioning, I finally found the answer. The problem was in the process. Let me explain. I had inexplicably used the milk and butter mix when it was too hot, didn’t cream the eggs and sugar enough and the oven was too hot. Simple things yes, but they totally changed the final outcome. The cake was cooked through and very tasty but it was not as appealing as it should have been. Once I revised the process and adjusted for the errors it worked out well. Then I realised what was wrong.
This made me think about my life and walk with God. There are daily challenges in life and my response to the instructions received from God determines my success in life. So I have to ask several questions:
- I Am I walking as I should be?
- Am I listening for direction and following exactly?
- Am I in the place I need to be when I need to?
- Are there subtle changes I have made in the process that are affecting the outcome of my life?
As you read this, can you relate to me on this issue? I am sure someone can. What do you need to assess and reconnect to that will change the course of your life?