Happy New Year, everyone! I suppose you’ve all got your list of resolutions ready to go? Top of the list, for most of us is, “I will choose to eat healthier in 2016.” Well good, because I’m going to talk about cake!!! Relax, it’s not what you think at all. We’re going to consider the ingredients, not the yummy, delicious….oops, I regress.
Usually, at this time of the year, we look to the future. But I want us to take a moment to consider events of our pasts and compare them to cake ingredients. Very few of us have had lives with no trouble, anxiety, or pain. We consider these to be “bad” things. But when you think about it, cake ingredients, individually, are not necessarily “good” things. Take flour, for instance. There’s lots of it on our cake, but it doesn’t really have any flavor at all. If you tasted a spoonful, it would get gummy and slimy in your mouth, and be hard to swallow. Some things in our lives are like that: “hard to swallow.” Now sugar is sweet, isn’t it? Most of us like sugar — in fact we like it TOO much, but to sit and eat all the sugar our cake recipe calls for wouldn’t be much fun after the first spoonful or two. If there were nothing but sweetness in our lives all the time, we might be a little hard to live with. It’s “too much of a good thing.” The next ingredient is cocoa. It’s the main part of chocolate, but cocoa powder is not sweet at all — in fact, it’s very bitter! Bitter things can happen to us in life, but we need to be careful that WE don’t become bitter. That makes us mean, cranky and unpleasant to be around.
Another ingredient is our cake is shortening. You know what that is…FAT! Think how greasy an slimy your mouth would be after tasting that! Not very pleasant. Next we have baking power, which has a bitter taste, and baking soda. Maybe you have brushed your teeth with baking soda! It doesn’t taste bad, exactly, but it doesn’t taste good, either. Vanilla, while it makes things taste good, by itself is strong and bitter.
Water is a good thing, and very necessary for life. We literally can’t live without it. But never drinking anything else can be a little boring. There are also raw eggs in our cake recipe; another ingredient that, by itself would be none too pleasant to eat. Finally, we have salt. A little bit of that goes a long way – it’s not something we want to eat by the spoonful, but if we left it out of our cake, it would taste very bland. We’d definitely miss it. Salt is important. The Bible says Christians are to be the salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13)
So of all our 10 ingredients, there are only 2 that we wouldn’t mind tasting by themselves. However, when they are mixed together in the correct amounts, and baked (heat — another thing that can be unpleasant, or even very painful, if there’s too much of it), we have a delicious chocolate cake that most anyone would enjoy eating!
It’s the same with us. God can use the good, the bad, and even then ugly and boring times in our lives to make us into something wonderful — godly men and women that He can use to be witnesses, examples, and encouragers to others. Let Christ have control of your life, and trust Him to make it something beautiful.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.
So my prayers are with you as you work on this New Year’s Resolutions, and remember: Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% who you react to it. Attitude is EVERYTHING! God bless you in 2016 — and always!