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On baking dessert

October 1, 2011

Most of you know that I work nights at Harris Teeter. After 20+ years in missions it is sort of my “pre-retirement” job and it has provided some interesting experiences for me. One of the blessings of working nights is that a lot of our customers are “regulars”; people who, like me, live their lives off the schedule of most of humanity. Getting to know some of these unique people over time has been a joy.

One example is a young newly married couple who come in regularly to do their weekly shopping. Like a lot of first-year married folks, and even a few of us old timers, they seem to still be on their honeymoon all the time. It has been fun getting to know them.

A while ago, around 1 AM, the wife came in alone. She told me her husband was out of town for work and would be back that afternoon. She was buying the ingredients for a special dessert her husband likes but that, until now, she did not know how to make. She had called her mother-in-law earlier in the evening and obtained the recipe and she planned to make it for him and have it ready when he came home. Pretty sweet, huh? You could see her excitement, and love, as she planned her surprise.

A little later, around 3 AM, she came in again. This time she was distressed. She told me that her planned surprise desert had gone badly awry. It had not turned out. She had called her mother-in-law a few minutes earlier (I am sure mom loved that) and learned what she had done wrong. She was now going to try again.

What struck me was her distress. She was truly upset, beating herself up for her “failure” to do it right. She was grimly determined to do better but fearful she might not be able to pull it off. I was moved by her agitation as she left to try again. (Cutting to the end of the story, she did it!)
What was odd to me was the fact that I had seen this couple many times and, frankly, the fact that he was madly in love with her was written all over him. She could have served him a mud pie and he’d have thanked her. Yet she sought perfection and was beating herself up over her inability to obtain it.

I am sure you can guess where I am going with this; this is like our relationship with God. He is madly in love with us. We love Him and want to serve Him. But sometimes we mess up – badly. We are right to want to do better, right to want to try again. But if we act as if our perfection is the key to His love for us we are like this poor newlywed, allowing ourselves to suffer self-recrimination and losing sight of the joy we can have in the endless overpowering love that is actually coming to us from God.

Have you messed up recently? Go buy the ingredients and bake the dessert again. But don’t think, even for a moment, that God’s love for you is at risk.


From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. Doug Hilliard permalink

    Tom, great blog post as usual! I am so thankful that my relationship with God is based on his faithfulness and not mine!

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