Yesterday, I tried my hand at my first official crock pot cooking experience. I was so excited about it - I marinated the chicken overnight, and in the morning I put it in the crock pot with wonderful seasonings and juices that were sure to make my husband's mouth water after a long day at work. At work I told a friend how excited I was to see how it turned out.
When I got home, I opened the door to an aroma of...blackened teriyaki. It didn't smell horrible, but it certainly wasn't enticing, either. Still hopeful, I went into the kitchen and looked into the pot.
My first crock pot experience was a failure. The chicken was dry and crusty, the sauce had an obvious "overcooked" flavor to it. It wasn't bad enough to make you gag, but it wasn't good.
I know it sounds like a small thing, but I felt so defeated! I felt like a failure! Everybody had always told me how easy a crock pot would be, how much simpler it would make my life. If it was so easy, I was certainly a screw up in the kitchen. My husband tried to help me laugh it off, but I was too embarrassed (aka: prideful).
But here's what I learned: Every day of our lives is like my crock pot experience. We want to try new things and succeed the very first time. We want excel in our spiritual gifts the minute we realize what they are. We want to be able to play Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, but we don't want to practice. At least that's the way I seem to be - if I'm not instantly good at something, I probably won't be that interested in it.
Drawing near to God...walking in the Spirit...exercising our gifts...these all take practice. There is no formula. It doesn't happen overnight. It takes time - lots of time - and committment.
I read a quote - I don't remember by whom, but he's a famous preacher - that said something to the effect of "I make it a point to spend at least an hour with the Lord every morning; unless I have an expecially busy, hectic day. In that case I make it a point to spend at least two hours with the Lord."
Can I sit still long enough? How many crock pot disasters will it take to realize that I'm not a horrible cook; I just need some practice. God doesn't expect me to be perfect today. He only expects me to have a perfect heart...perfectly committed to Him.