Monday, August 22, 2016

Life at the waffle buffet

Go ahead, throw another waffle on my iron. 
How's that for a life motto? I think I might claim it as my own. Consider this public notice, my own personal copyright, if you will: "Go ahead, throw another waffle on my iron" is officially my life motto.
Over the past six years I've been singularly focused on one particular waffle iron filled with a waffle batter made of dreams for health and healing. I have peeked into the cast iron claws of my iron, hoping for a golden brown waffle in the form of good digestion, healthy weight gain and abundant energy. Nearly every peek into the progress of my health journey has proven disappointing. My health waffle hasn't been crisping quite right. Every glimpse upon my uncooked waffle dampens my dreams. After six years of unsuccessfully cooked health waffles my confidence in a better future looks as flat and lifeless as a bowl of uncooked batter.
But now I want a new motto. I want new batter in the waffle iron and I want more irons. I want more challenges and new obstacles. In breakfast buffet terminology, I want to embrace the heat the chef feels while cooking up an abundance of gourmet waffles simultaneously, all at varying stages of crisping. The chef behind the counter stands at the ready with flipper in hand and a stack of porcelain white plates nearby. He takes order and dutifully fulfills requests such as added pecans, a dusting of sprinkles and "extra crispy" edges. The master chef can have a dozen waffles in progress without being overwhelmed. He flips the waffle irons at just the precisely right moment to produce the perfect golden breakfast treat.
The chef inspiring my motto takes orders with a smile and, when the waffle is complete and presented, takes a special moment with each eager guest to offer a thanks and knod of gratitude. As a child I used to watch the chef pictured in my mind at my family's yearly vacation to Ogelbay Park. In the elegant Ihlenfeld dining room framed with a wall of windows overlooking the pond and rolling hills of the park below, my parents and I would enjoy the resort's famous gourmet breakfast buffet.
A sugar loving child who never passed up an opportunity to eat cake for breakfast, my first stop along the buffet route was always the waffle station. Behind a long table draped in white linen stood the friendly chef who would take my order and dish up a the perfect classic Belgium waffle. The long line of waffle orderers - many being my impatient and hungry youthful peers - never phased the chef. He never seemed stressed by the heat of the iron's element or the drooling faces of children watching him do his work. This chef embodied my new motto: "Go ahead, throw another waffle on my iron."
After watching year after year the skilled chef dutifully, and happily, go about his work, it is now my turn to take up his motto and run with it. But first I have to get the right batter. Just ask the chef at Ogelbay Park and he'll tell you that the batter makes the waffle. Sure, the timing at the iron is critical but inferior batter will never crisp properly. The results of lousy batter will always be a lousy waffle no matter how precise the cooking time. 
After six years of failing to create even one good health waffle it dawned on me, I've been working with the wrong batter. Forget how many times I've checked my iron and tested its heat levels. The batter hasn't changed form. I've tried upgrading my waffle iron and I've tweaked timing but my problem has persisted because I haven't switched batters. Could it be that I am capable of creating tantalizing waffles, and many more of them all at the same time, if I would simply switched to a whole new batter?
So I went to my health bowl filled with a batter of half baked hopes and dreams. I dumped the bowl an dstarted fresh. I went back to God's word and reached for the basic ingredients of His goodness. I reached for the fruits of His spirit, the armor of His Word and the truth of His resurrection. That's when my batter started coming together. I could see the difference immediately. The color of the batter looked different than my self-made un-crispable health batter. This new batter, inspired and directed by God, looked like the stuff of cooking blogs and Martha Stewart Living recipes. It looked perfect because it was (and is) perfect.

The batter, the life, consisting of God's truth crisps up perfectly every time. What's the secret? It's what the batter is made of - Christ's love and God's glory. Every waffle made with this batter turns out a little differently. Some are crispier than others - per the instruction and will of God. Some have pecans while others have chocolate chips. But the batter is always the same. The love and glory of God is the base. All of the other ingredients and elements come together because God's character indwells within it and holds the scrumptious waffle of life together.
When I use God's batter and make waffles that are all for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ, I can have many waffles cooking up all at the same time. God enables me to stop having to sneak a peek at each and every waffle because He gives me the peace to let it cook in due time. I don't have to wonder if the batter is browning just right. I know it is because I'm using God's recipe. I have the knowledge and assurance that God will make the waffle brown while I go about my work, pouring my next serving into the next empty iron ready to feed the next hungry soul.
Now that I have the batter right I'm standing behind a row with more irons than I can count and each is cooking up just right, just for the glory of God. Each waffle is being prepared to deliver God's love and saving grace. Now that I am working with God's batter I can embrace my new motto and let it be a rallying cry as I cook up a life crispy and golden brown.
In Christ's kitchen, wearing God's apron, indwelled with the Spirit's recipe I can confidently say,  "Go ahead, throw another waffle on my iron."

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