Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Lesson From Shepherd's Pie

"they sat down to eat a meal"
Genesis 37:25

I was going through my recipes today, looking for a recipe for banana bread.   We have a few unappetizing looking ones in the fridge, that no one wants to eat.  And frankly, I can’t blame them.  But banana bread will be just the ticket. 

I’m also going to have to look for my pumpkin bread recipe soon.  We have a few pumpkins that have been our Autumn decorations, and we’ll need switch them out for the Christmas stuff in a few days.  At which point I’ll bake the pumpkins, and make bread out of them.  *yum*

While I enjoy browsing through cookbooks every now and then, what I love even more is going through my collected recipes.  Those are the tried and true.  Those are the memories, either of the person I got the recipe from, or of times when my family has eaten the food.  Maybe we enjoy it every year on a holiday, or maybe it’s one of my kids’ favorites.

But you know what I came across today?  A recipe for shepherd’s pie.   My kids love shepherd’s pie.  It’s a favorite for all of us, but it was something I had to learn.  We didn’t eat it when I was a kid.  Or if we did, I don’t remember, so it wasn’t something my mom did a lot. 

So at some point in my married life, I decided I needed to learn how to make shepherd’s pie.  I loved the idea of it.  I love foods that are intrinsic to a certain culture, and I think the idea of all those beautifully mashed potatoes on top appeals to the Irish in me.  

So I learned how, and now it’s one of my go-to recipes.  I love that it’s warm, I love the potatoes, and I love that I can doctor it up with whatever vegetables I happen to have on hand.  Or I can use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Cheese or no cheese.... Options: gotta love ‘em.  

I smiled a little bit to myself when I saw that recipe.  It was just something cut out of a magazine, and tucked in the notebook I use for recipes.  I glanced at it and smiled, then I pulled it out…

… and I threw it away. 

And that made me smile, too.  

I threw it away because I no longer need it.  I've made shepherd's pie so often, I can do it with my eyes shut.  

Well, I'd make a mess, and I might burn myself, but I could do it. 

I smiled when I saw it, because I could hardly believe there was a time when I needed instructions for this process.  And that is an example of practice makes perfect.  

Repetition... following the instructions to the letter, as many times as you have to, until you know what to do.  Until you no longer have to think about it, because it's automatic.  

It works that way with spiritual stuff, too.  We can become kinder, more forgiving, more prayerful.  We just have to go through the motions several times ~ maybe for a few weeks, maybe longer.  We have to carefully follow the instructions until we have the method memorized.  And we might need to ask for help, the way we might need a second pair of hands in the kitchen until we have a recipe down pat.  

But it will come.  You'll learn what He wants from you, and it will become part of you.  And the best part is, when that happens, you'll be able to help someone else learn it, too.

~ "The things which you learned and received 
  and heard and saw in me, 
these do,
and the God of peace will be with you." ~
Philippians 4:9

No comments:

Post a Comment