Thursday, March 31, 2005

fresh flowers for April 1

Baking Bread

copyright 2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

My kids love to be in the kitchen with me. Adding things, stirring things, peering over my shoulder watching the mixer go round and round. One of their favorite things to ‘cook’ with me is bread. As Samuel was ‘helping’ me today I couldn’t help but notice a little flower popping up in the bread dough.

Samuel is only 2 and therefore time is irrelevant to him. Waiting? What’s that? He wanted his little bit of dough so he could make bread. Within seconds he was throwing it the pan. Then taking it out. Then throwing it in. Then walking around the house with it. I believe the worst moment was when I asked him where it was and he said, “I get it! It’s on the plano.” (piano, for those of you who don’t understand toddler). His poor little lump of dough never achieved its purpose in life, it ended up stuck to the floor and trodden upon and then into the trash.

I wondered if that was what I do with God’s gifts to me. At first, giving what looks like a good attempt at letting the gift reach its potential. Even putting it in the correct spot in the right circumstances, only to snatch it back again within a short time? Do I parade around with my gift declaring that ‘I’m making bread’ only to leave my gift somewhere and forget about it until someone asks me to give an account of where it’s gone. Or do I stomp on my gift, leaving it on the floor, neglected and abused to be trodden on and destroyed.

I’m pretty certain that none of us would choose to do those things and yet we do. We miss opportunities to love and be loved, to serve and be served every day. We want to experience the aroma and taste of fresh, warm bread but we don’t have the patience to let the Holy Spirit do His work in us. Baking bread takes a little know how and a little time. You need to have the right balance of ingredients. You need to be patient as the yeast works through the dough and causes it to rise. The oven temperature needs to be right in order to bring the bread to its full potential without over-doing it. Then, of course, you need the right complimentary items to fully enjoy that fresh bread; butter, cheese, honey or peanut butter.

So, too, our gifts need to be mixed with character and perseverance. We need patience as we wait for the Holy Spirit to do His work in us. We need the fires of testing so that we grow strong and ready to be of service. We need to work together with complementary gifts so that the full flavour of all the gifts can be enjoyed. Next time you bite into a warm piece of fresh bread consider what gift God has given you. Consider what stage of development it is in and wait on the Lord to bring it to completion.

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