I have learned a lot about my Christian walk in the last few years. Most of it has been gathered from ordinary life experiences. Like working on a farm, hanging wallpaper, driving too fast in a cornfield (!). If I set long enough I can list 100 more, each with a lesson or two.
Been thinking about baking bread though. The flour, and water, and yeast are combined and mixed (kneaded). It takes some patience and timing. Experience is really helpful. My Great-grandma made the best bread in Northern Wisconsin. (As a little kid, I got a slice of bread soaked in cow’s milk for a tasty snack.)
After I grew up, got married and moved to my cabin in Alaska. I decided I would show off my bread-making prowess to my young wife. I floured the table and set myself to making “Grandma’s bread”. I was going to be the star, hotshot baker!
As I worked the dough something just didn’t feel right. I surmised that I didn’t have enough flour–it just wouldn’t come together. I kneaded the dough for quite sometime, while I racked my brain trying to fix the out-of-control mess on the table. I was getting embarrassed. It was taking far too long, and the texture was all wrong.
I was getting very irritated at this growing mess. It was then my brave wife graciously pointed out that perhaps it was because I was not using white flour like I thought, but powdered sugar! See, we had just moved in, and she had been wanting to label the canisters but hadn’t got around to it.
I took the lump outside and buried it in the yard. It’s been over 20 years but I’ve been told that grass still doesn’t grow there! The funny thing was I thought I was making bread, but I guess what I really was making was humility. (I keep having to learn this).
When you make bread, you need clean ingredients; pure flour and good water. If you just came in from the barn you should wash your hands–throughly. Whatever you mix in, stays in. (My mom would get a little crazy and throw in raisins or nuts, which I hated.)
You do not sweep the floor and add it to dough, nor do you add chalk or anything that may look like flour. In the same way, you and I make spiritual bread. It takes experience and good and wholesome ingredients. It takes patience. You can’t accelerate the process of baking bread.
I hope you can see my point. We try to mix up a fresh batch of our discipleship everyday. The table is our hearts–it must be clean. We add the flour and the yeast. We only use clean water, purity must be maintained.
I’ve been struggling with some things in my discipleship. I haven’t been too picky about many things. Purity of heart and mind are areas of compromise. As a result, I have not been pleased with the outcome. I am embarrassed by the quality of what I serve up to my guests.
I believe there is nothing as tasty and fresh bread from the oven, served up with homemade jam! Man, that is good. Maybe, I’ll make up some bread.