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"Roughly how many evening meals would you say you made from scratch in a week?"
The man from Hello Fresh delivered his opening line with inexplicable enthusiasm.
"Er...seven," I replied, with more than a little embarrassment.
"Wow!" His eyes bulged. Clearly, I was not his target customer, and the conversation should have ended there. Should have - but didn't.
He'd called at a time when I was evicting unwanted visitors from my daughter's hair with the sadistic determination of a crazed dictator, my son had emptied out the entire shoe rack, making opening the front door virtually impossible (even if I had wanted to sign my life away to an unnecessarily jolly stranger from a recipe-delivery service), and at least one of my toddler twins was naked.
I did my usual, "Thanks but it's not a good time" and closed the door, hearing a faint, "OK I'll call back later" once it was too late to argue.
And when he called back, I was weeding in the front garden, so I couldn't ignore him. And I was facing the first week of the summer holidays, so the prospect of three meals I wouldn't have to plan or shop for seemed....well...appealing.
Sucker, my husband mocked.
The recipes and ingredients arrived, and we made the food. Interestingly, my sceptic husband ended up cooking two of the three meals. (Who's the sucker now, eh?)
It was...okay. It was fine. But I didn't really need the revelation that you can add sweetcorn to a chicken casserole, nor another beef stir-fry recipe.
I'm no Nigella, but I do like to cook, and it's a skill I practise daily. Hello Fresh is designed for beginners, or more advanced cooks who don't have time to plan and shop for their meals. It's not really designed for me. Although it was convenient and easy, it didn't upskill me or enrich my life.
I often find myself taking a similarly convenient approach to my spiritual journey. It's easy to comfort myself on a superficial level with the many encouragements found in the Bible, without really plumbing their depths and reflecting on how they might change my thought patterns. It's easy to look at the many challenges found through the Bible, and focus only on those which are not a problem to me, totally ignoring those which God wants to use to change my heart, my behaviour, my priorities.
Christianity, like cooking, is pretty appealing when the thinking is done for you, and all you have to do is follow instructions.
The writer to the Hebrews, however, reminds us that if we are 'teaching' (as we are, to varying extents, when we write) we must seek and embrace solid spiritual food:
As writers, we can focus too much on our blog stats, our social media followers and our email lists. Of course these things do need attention as part of the 'business' side of growing the ministry God is calling us into.
But if we believe that it is God calling us to writing, then seeking Him, loving Him and worshipping Him needs to be our number one priority. It is through this that He will give us the gifts He wants us to impart to others.
Lucy Rycroft spends her time attempting to keep chaos at bay in a noisy Vicarage household in York. She often admits defeat, and takes herself off to a quiet corner (okay, a corner) to write about faith, parenting, adoption, family life and chocolate addiction on her blog. Lucy also writes regularly for Home for Good and is thrilled to have a piece in ACW's forthcoming Christmas Anthology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.