Culinary art is not my forte. Before we were married, I made it clear to Bob that I didn’t know how to cook, to which he replied, “you have to be better than me!” Clearly, at least one of us had to make some effort if we were to survive on our (very) limited budget.
Guess who stepped up to that plate.
To this day, if I slyly ask him what he wants to make for supper, he simply asks me what kind of cold cereal I would like…? (And since I buy only one kind at the grocery store, that would limit my options…)
Through the 30+ years of matrimony, I have had my fair share of gastronomic lapses, to put it kindly, but considering his reticence in the kitchen, Bob has been quite accommodating. (The man says he is genetically inferior in that part of the house, but with a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and the ability to construct and deconstruct DNA stuff, I have difficulty believing that he could not read a recipe for pancakes…)
Particularly challenging is the ancient thing I own masquerading as an oven—with a little imagination, carbon dating might put it in the mid-20th century. I rather doubt they make ‘em that small anymore, and so to get a new one would necessitate some reconstruction. (Bob is reading this, so everyone please weigh-in in my favor…!) Right now, I generally rotate the baking sheets, otherwise things get burned on the bottom shelf. Of course, if I’m caught up in multi-tasking,…you know, like blogging…., things can get a bit scorched anyway.
So with all my “do the best with what you got” mentality, I find this tidbit from the Old Testament a bit amusing~~
“No matter how a grain offering for the LORD has been prepared, bring it to the priest, who will present it at the altar. The priest will take a representative portion of the grain offering and burn it on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.”
My understanding of the concept of offering something to the Lord back in those days had to do with a fully devoted “consecration”, meaning the item was no longer useable for any other purpose. This many times meant it needed to be burned or broken, kaput, period, gone.
Now, someone with my skills may already have the burned part down pretty well, but that’s not the point. These people didn’t exactly have temp controlled ovens back then, so baking was more of an art than a science, I suppose. I can only envision a new housewife sweating over her batch of blue-ribbon quality flatbread, only to have hubby appreciate it by taking the whole thing to the priest to have it (uh-oh) burned up. I can also envision said hubby getting the first five scorched practice batches for dinner when he returned home from the tabernacle that evening…right, they hadn’t been married for 30+ years yet. (Give them time.)
The point is, we bring God our best, and allow God to use it as He sees fit, which often times seems like it goes up in smoke, wasted, blown away in an uncaring wind and lost forever.
That is not, however, how God sees it.
Or our lives either, for that matter, which are themselves the very “living sacrifices” we are called to make on the alter known as Eternal Love. Leave it to the Unimaginable God to come up with a paradox of such enormous significance, that it is truly in our best interest to be completely devoted/purposed/consecrated. Useless in the world’s hands so that we can be fully utilized in God’s hands for the world.
Because, if we are not fully burned up to God, rest assured that we will be burned out by the world.
Leviticus 2:8,9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.