Monday, June 28, 2010

Bread Making – Lawrence

For 25 years, I have been making my own bread. I love the feel of the moving, living yeast beneath my hands as I knead the dough.

About five years ago, I switched to using a bread machine. I was having trouble with shortness of breath because my heart valves were not working properly and I was to have heart surgery to replace my own valves with mechanical ones.

One wouldn't think that kneading bread could make one short of breath but it gives one quite a work out when one’s heart is not as strong as it could be. I knew it would be some time before I would be able to do that activity again—probably months, I thought.

Well months went into years. I was satisfied with the bread machine results and it didn't occur to me to go back to the mixing and kneading process that bread by hand required. However, after several breakdowns of bread machines of late, I began to think about my pocket-book and decided to once again try the real hand-made bread.

It is wonderful! I am enjoying doing the bread by hand, and I am certainly enjoying the results! And I’m not having any difficulty with shortness of breath. Why did it take me so long to go back to baking my bread by hand? I suppose I had just got into the habit of doing it this way, it just never occurred to me to stop using the machine—it worked so well. Sometimes, we can get in a rut and keep on doing things that started because there was a necessity for them to be done a certain way and continue to do them because we just don't think of changing our pattern.

This can happen in our spiritual lives too. We get in a habit of doing something that works for us for a time and we just keep on doing it even though it doesn’t serve us where we are in out spiritual lives now. Something will get our attention sooner or later, courtesy of God’s love for us, and we grow a little more in spiritual maturity and closer to God when we become aware that he is calling us to a new path.

From time to time we need to examine where we are in our spiritual lives. Are we still drinking milk when we should be taking solid food (1 Corinthians 3:2 & Hebrews 5:12)? Are we still using bread machines when we could be kneading by hand? Is it possible that God may be calling us to a new spiritual practice or a deeper relationship with him? If he is opening up a new path for us, we should take up the challenge and see where God leads us.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

O-oh, Judith! You speak to my proneness to falling into patterns, and becoming 'rutted'. Thanks for this very apt illustration and your excellent applications. I'm sure there is something for each of us in this meditation.

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