I love baking shows like Cake Wars, The Great British Baking Show, and Holiday Baking Championship. I enjoy watching the competitors strive to create something beautiful and tasty, and I’m thrilled when they succeed. I like to bake, too, but I’ve never had the time or inclination to perfect my skills and make anything as beautiful or as complicated as the masterpieces created on these shows.
That’s why I like the new Netflix show, Nailed It. This is a show I could actually be on because it’s for bad bakers – or at least inexperienced ones. IMBD describes the show this way: “Home bakers with a terrible track record take a crack at re-creating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. It's part reality contest, part hot mess.” While the original masterpieces are beautiful to behold, the re-creations are usually pretty funny (if not just sad).
Like most baking shows, the competitors face a distinct disadvantage in their quest to make something beautiful. They have to do their work in a short period of time. It’s bad enough that the bakers in Nailed it lack any kind of training and have little or no experience in cake decorating. They’re also asked to re-create something that probably took an accomplished cake artist many hours, or even days, to make. Patience is not a virtue in these shows. It’s a luxury no one can afford.
I was reminded this week of the importance of patience in finding and following God’s will for our lives. I want to know God’s will now. I want to get started on the next task. I want to have a finished product ready to serve up by dinner time. And I don’t understand why, so much of the time, I can’t discern God’s leading in my life telling me what to do and how to do it.
Part of the problem may be that I forget to ask for instructions – like the contestant in one episode of Nailed It who went through the first challenge never turning on the tablet at his workstation that contained the recipe for the cake he was supposed to make. The bigger problem for me, though, is just not being patient. I have trouble letting God work in his own time and in his own way. So it’s no wonder I mess up so often.
God isn’t interested in making a half-hearted, barely-recognizable, rushed-through, re-creation of something else in my life. He’s making an original masterpiece, lovingly thought out, painstakingly assembled, with attention to every detail. I can join him in that work, patiently waiting for directions, learning by watching, making mistakes and starting over, or I can rush through on my own and end up with an unappealing mess.
It’s really not that hard to choose.
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:4-6
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What is my mission as an author? It's a tough question, but I believe the goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they really believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.