ACW

ACW

Thursday, 2 August 2018

On eating, cooking and writing

Image credit: Pixabay

"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:

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:11-14)

I've been particularly challenged this year that, if I am to be used as a writer, I need to allow God to grow me in holiness. And I'm stopped dead in my tracks by the phrase "you no longer try to understand". If that's not a warning, I don't know what is. What will I write, or how will I teach, if I am still lapping up the milk I drank as a baby Christian, if I'm not even trying to understand or absorb any solid truths God may want to teach me?

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.

4 comments:

  1. Yes, he does sound very frustrated with them, doesn't he? He sounds as though he's really having to hold back ('We have much to say about this ....')! Good post, Lucy, with some valuable reminders.

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  2. As a keen chef myself, you had me at the title! :) Seriously, I loved the way you started the piece and then, like adding an additional vital ingredient, led us towards your main point. After being a Christian for over 15 years, I'm at an interesting stage in my walk with Jesus. I'm currently reading Rob Bell's book ' What is the Bible', and it's helping me to see God's word in a whole new way. Thank you for using your gift so well, and inspiring others. God bless :)

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  3. Great stuff Lucy. All so easily forgotten. A great reminder. Thank you x

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  4. I could just picture you at the door while dealing with the unwanted visitors in your daughter's hair and a floor covered in toys.Beautifully written and a healthy reminder that short cuts, in the physical and spiritual life are often a false economy. Thanks Lucy!

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