It’s all in the mix…

Apparently, the shortage of eggs that has accompanied covid-19, is because of a surge in home baking.
Even one of my offspring who doesn’t normally bake, has sent me a picture of a carrot cake, captioned ‘finally got round to using your recipe!’

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Recipes are guidelines. A list of ingredients followed by a set of instructions.

First step is to make sure we’ve got what it takes, or to tweak as necessary. It’s amazing what can result when we are flexible in our thinking.
Next step is start combining ingredients together. It’s at this stage that things don’t always go as expected. For example, adding eggs to a cake mix can cause it to curdle or ‘split’. But contrary to appearances, all is not lost, we just need to keep going.
Other times things don’t go according to plan, simply because we don’t follow the plan.
Maybe we skip a stage that seems unnecessary. Take sieving flour, it may feel pointless, but it loosens any clumps and allows us to gently fold it into the mix.
Then comes the baking for just the right amount of time.

This process reminds me of how life can feel. We have a plan. We prepare. We get off to a good start.
But when something happens that causes us to ‘split’, we can wonder if the situation is resolvable.

Paul, the writer of many New Testament letters, urges followers of Jesus not to fret or worry, but instead, pray.
To pray is to be honest with God. To be open about our hopes, and our disappointments; our deliberate wrong doings, and our mistakes; our doubts, and our delicate faith.

Truth is, I can sometimes be reluctant to hand over the mix to God, but when we do, everything starts to come together for good and we are changed in the process. Our priorities will be sifted, and our hardened attitudes and actions loosened.

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Then, with a gentle folding together of the unique ingredients that make us who we are, something good will emerge from the oven of life.

Truth is… A sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. (Philippians 4:7) 

 

The Best Is Yet To Come…

Twice this week I’ve found myself in conversation with people who feel that the best is yet to come (actually it’s three times, if I include conversations I’ve had with myself!)
Following a bit of a frustrating day, one friend was telling me that he’d had one of those ‘why on earth am I doing this job’ moments. He has many gifts and abilities (as we all have) but has a sense that there’s something more fulfilling for him to do in life.
We talked a bit about how differences can be made to other peoples’ lives by the little things we do, and that ‘waiting times’ needn’t be wasted times.

I too am in a time of waiting. I’m waiting for acute depression to lift. I’m waiting for a Hearing Dog to enable me to return to employment. I’m waiting for relationships to mend. None of this is passive, I am actively finding ways forward, and I am holding on to the words a chaplain said to me many years ago: “The best is yet to come”.
Wonderfully, those exact words are on the front of a card just given to me by another friend.

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They remind me that I don’t have to persuade God to make life fulfilling,
nor does God need to persuade me that there is more to life than meets the eye.
It’s not about being persuaded, it’s about connecting with our deepest desires.

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I believe that God doesn’t want anything other than that we fulfil our potential.
But truth is, when life doesn’t seem to go according to plan, I sometimes doubt God has got the ‘what, when and where’ details to hand!

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Gradually though, I’m coming to recognise that life lived in the company of God can have a ‘lastminute.com’ feel to it.
The ‘departure gate’ for the next step of our journey through life, only opens when we are actually ready to step through.
So this week I’ve remembered that in fog, pilots keep to a flight path by trusting their navigation instruments, and I’ve realigned myself with the Truth which is at the heart of what matters.

Truth is… I know what I’m doing. I have plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” Jeremiah 29:11