One of my favorite hobbies, other than music, has always been cooking. Trust me, when I say that I am no professional I mean it, but that doesn't stop the self-made passion that I've developed for it. I can remember growing up and watching my Grand-Mothers' Ruby Nell Brooks and Peggy Cox cook their army sized meals for our families and every time there would be so much left over after we each had our fill that we'd all come back later and try to eat the rest of it. I can remember on countless occasions asking Maw-Maw (Ruby Nell),
"So what's the recipe for biscuits again?"
"There is no recipe hun, I just know."
That would always frustrate me because without the measurements I could never get it right. I'd try recipes from on-line, but they always lacked the texture and consistency that my Maw-Maw and Gran's biscuits had. They were just impossible to duplicate mainly because their measurements consisted of "handfuls" and "pinches" of this and "pinches" of that. If you've ever met me you know I'm a big dude, so my "pinches" and "handfuls" don't equal that of an 80 year old lady. I figured that out the hard way because when I used that method my biscuits were more like hockey pucks or rocks hard enough to chisel diamonds. To this day my attempts at their art-form don't quite measure up (no pun intended, well, yeah it was) to the standards that they've set. I get pretty close some times, but never as accurate as my wonderful grandmother's.
Cooking takes discipline and consistency as do many things, but as we all know with discipline and consistency comes the valuable lessons you learn from those traits. Most probably don't see a life lesson in cooking, but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and a little maturity I've always seen value in the least expectant of places which is why I want to share the Blessing Recipe:
In any good dish 3 things are required:
1) Quality Ingredients: Any Chef will tell you that when making any dish that quality ingredients are key. If you were to make a cake and use 3 week old eggs and milk that was set to expire that day odds are your cake won't be that great. Now that's not to say that the cake wouldn't turn out good, but only to say that it might have been better had you used the freshest ingredients.
An old saying that I've heard my whole life holds true in cooking and life. "When you put good in, you get good out." If we equip ourselves with good things (i.e. - good habits and good, influential people) and positive avenues our life will reflect positivity. I know through experience that God has blessed my family and I with great friends and spiritual leaders, whether it be my friends and church, that have had an eternal impact on us. None of these would have been possible had we not set ourselves on the right path through God's guidance. We wanted bigger and better things (freshest ingredients) and where we are now is a direct reflection of God's promise to us and our obedience to him.
2) Quality Prep Time: When making any dish it's imperative that you follow the directions given exactly, taking your time, reading the instructions carefully and precisely. This allows the maximum outcome of freshness and taste.
Life is tough. No one ever said that it would be easy. I've found that when living life your way isn't always the best. As a matter of fact it's never the best way because my fallible nature prevents me from being the best me that I can be. My relationship with Christ has been the best thing for me, next to my marriage and kids. I do my best to take time each day, usually at work before my day starts, to "prep" myself through prayer over my family and I. I read scripture (even though I'm horrible at remembering it) each morning and try to apply it as best as I can. I do this each day, because I know I can't do it without God's help, to ensure that I'm the best me that I can be.
3) Quality Presentation: As the most important element, the presentation is the final product and usually the only part of the process that the consumer sees. Flare, personality and love should shine through so that a lasting impression is left in the minds of person served.
I've always said that presentation is the most important step because most don't get to see how you prep. With food if it tastes as good as it looks then you've won the consumer over. In life, people can seem well put together, but how they act and react to things shows who they truly are and how they manage themselves.
We are all a part of God's great kitchen, each of us with our own recipe that He has crafted individually with no 2 dishes alike. The world is His melting pot and we are placed within its walls to invoke a certain flavor that meshes together a masterpiece of a dish that is The Blessing Recipe...