It is amazing how a very small detail, a seemingly insignificant detail, has the power to impact the outcome of either your success or failure.
In the grand scheme of thing this particular example really is of no significant what so ever. But as I thought about what brought about the insignificant situation it began to flesh out for me in a very real and significant way.
Here is a life lesson:
When baking follow the recipe exactly!
You see I am making a small wedding cake for a dear friend. It is a very small cake and I will also share in that is has been many years since I actually have done a wedding cake.
After having located all the pans, turntables, decorating tips, separator plates, columns etc. necessary (as they were all packed away in boxes in the attic) I set about to find an appropriate pound cake recipe or the occasion.
I found a recipe that I thought would work very well, I gathered all my ingredients and set to work.
What resulted was one of the worst cake disasters I think I have ever had.
My first cake caved like a giant sink hole and the second smaller cake overflowed the pan spilling out all over the bottom of my oven and generally making a hug mess along with filling my house with the lovely aroma of scorched sugar and flour.
At this point I was freaking out as the wedding was only a few days away and I was going to have to concede failure and drive to the store for a box mix.
My mistake was simple. I did not follow the direction. I thought to myself I am an experienced baker, I have substituted self rising flour for all purpose flour many times. I know what I am doing. I forged ahead oblivious to the impending disaster.
Rest assured after I cleaned up my oven and tossed the failed cake in the trash I immediately ran to the store and purchased the appropriate supplies.
I can report that cake number two has tuned out perfectly.
But I think that there is a large lesson here.
I thought it would not make any difference if I made a tiny little short cut.
WOW! My error in judgment cost me time, financial resources, emotional stress, and feelings of basic stupidity.
When I look at this from a broader point of view, I see so many useful applications. I can look at if from the perspective of my faith and realize that when I take shortcuts in my faith walk I may collapse just like my cake did. When I breeze through my morning without my quiet time, I am in danger of collapsing under the presser of the day without my spiritual fortification. When I take shortcuts I can easily erupt and overflow with thoughtless words and anger resulting in scorched feeling and hardens edges.
The mess on the bottom of my oven (as a result of my shortcut) was not pretty and was even harder to get off.
What does life look like when we take shortcuts in our faith?
If I had taken the time to follow the direction from the start I would have saved myself time, resources, emotional stress and feelings of foolishness.
So shortcuts, may possibly are OK when its 5:30 and you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry, or if you need to find a quick way around a traffic jam.
Shorts cuts or substitutions in your faith walk however will bring opportunities for unexpected collapses and unwanted eruptions.
My advice: "Follow the directions"
PS 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
2TI 316 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.