The Recipe

13 06 2011

I made a new dish last week. Seeing the recipe in a magazine, I decided that it was worth a try. I followed the directions, measured all the ingredients, and waited anxiously for it to finish baking in the oven. It turned out great, even looking like the picture.

My son is not big on trying new things. He eyed the new dish suspiciously, asking questions worthy of someone conducting a deep background investigation. “What’s in it? Why do we have to try something new? Is it supposed to look like that? What is that smell? Do I have to eat it?”

He gamely gave it a try and liked it. Sort of. He then began to offer a list of suggestions for “minor” changes that would make the dish more to his liking. Less eggs. More flour. Fewer strawberries. A bigger variety of fruit, but not blueberries.

I tried to explain that you can’t tinker with the recipe too much. Leaving out eggs and adding extra flour would throw off the chemistry of the dish and it wouldn’t turn out. It wouldn’t look like the picture or taste very good.

Recipes have rules. The measurements are there to help you create the food that you want to eat. Someone has taken the time to weigh, measure, study temperatures, and baking times in order to give guidance on how to take raw ingredients and combine them into something delicious. The rules aren’t there to be restrictive. They just show you what is necessary to get the yummy dish you want at the end.

Following God’s commandments is a lot like following a recipe. God knows how to combine the elements of discipleship in our lives in just the right way to bring out the image of Jesus. Sometimes we look at the commandments and want to tinker. A little more of this one, a little less of this. But tinkering with the combination of commands and laws God has given us will throw off the transformation God wants to work within us. We won’t turn out like the picture He has in His heart.

My Jesus Resolution today is to follow the recipe. I am going to follow God’s commands with the same attention that I pay to the directions in a recipe. I am not going to wing it or tinker with the instructions. I am going to trust that the Master has weighed every action, measured every intention, walked through every instruction in order to outline the perfect path to looking like Jesus.



One response

16 06 2011
Linda Castleman

I love this analogy. Following recipes has helped realize that God knows best about what I need in my life to make me develop into the image of Christ. Thank you.

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