Cooking Mistakes and Life

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed to you—even Jesus.”–Acts 3:19-20

I could make a cookbook of all the recipes I have botched over the years.

I remember growing up with a mom who was a good cook. Although she tried to interest me in cooking as a child and teenager, I didn’t have the patience for her “don’t make a mess” attitude and thought I was above cooking. Surely, someone else would do it for me when I grew up! When I got married and had to start cooking for two, my lack of experience was very evident. My idea of pork chops with mushroom sauce was to put pork chops in the oven and make mushroom soup (hey, I followed the directions–one can of soup and one can of water), to dump over them. When my husband probed the dish and couldn’t see the pork chops swimming in sauce, I knew I misunderstood the recipe. Mac and cheese with grated cheese resulted in a sticky, nasty ball of macaroni and congealed cheese. Melted chocolate on the stove (with heat too high) resulted in brown smelly “chocolate” cottage cheese. Layered Christmas jello where one doesn’t cool down subsequent layers before they are poured on another results in brown jello that you pour down the drain. A cake batter filled beyond half-way in the pan results in a cake volcano that overflows batter all over the oven into a burnt sticky mess. My crowning glory was the “Cess-Pool Potatoes” I made for a family Easter Dinner. I thought I’d save time and cut up the scalloped potatoes, leave them raw but covered with the cheese sauce, put them in the fridge overnight and cook them the next day. Easter morning, when all stores were closed and I was due to bring this huge dish of potatoes just hours later, was a gluey, gray, snotty mess. The potatoes oxidized and turned black. Yeah.

I must say, I can still laugh about all of these memories. Since those early years of mistakes, I have taken cooking classes, read magazines and cookbooks, experimented with new dishes and new techniques and worked beyond the Betty Crocker cookbook. I now love cooking, and can usually put things together without too many mistakes. The best part is my family and friends reap the benefits of my many mistakes and my learning from them over the years.

I think our faith journey is a bit like my cooking experience. We make mistakes over and over, but hopefully we learn from them. In life, we have friends, family, the Bible, and other Christians to help us learn the right way to go. Peter says the words above in the book of Acts. He is speaking to crowds of people after the healing of a beggar, telling them the story of Jesus and His power, and inviting them to repent, turn away from their sins, and follow God. The story is true for us today. We are invited daily to turn from our mistakes and follow God. Learn new ways. Learn from our mistakes.

What mistakes are you learning from today? As you move forward, take what you have learned and apply it to new situations. In this, I hope you find peace and that “refreshing” that comes from the Lord.

Prayer–“God of grace, I make many mistakes. Please forgive me and help me to repent and turn towards you. I pray that good may come from my mistakes and that I will learn from you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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