Years ago when my son was a baby we would go over to his Nana & Ghin Ghin’s house after church for lunch. Nana was famous for her pound cakes so years later when Ghin Ghin finally shared the recipe, I felt honored that he would pass her recipe down to me. It was handwritten on a sheet of notebook paper in his own shaky handwriting and it was mine. A funny thing happened with my first attempt at making this cake. I was so focused on following the instructions exactly as they were written that I didn’t pay attention until after the cake was in the oven and I was cleaning up that I discovered two ingredients had been left out. Surprisingly it still turned out fairly decent.
Nana loved to be in the kitchen. Her kitchen always smelled of good southern cooking. Before the birth of my son, she had suffered from a stroke and would go on to have several mini-strokes after his birth. Having lost the use of her left side she no longer could cook or bake without assistance. We still had Sunday meals, often times my son and I would walk in on her telling her husband how to make something.
I remember the first time we walked into the house while she was telling him how to mix the cake they were making together. Keep in mind they had been married 50+ years and they were arguing on how to bake a cake. Talk about humorous. It went something like this: What do you mean I can’t put the milk in first? What difference does it make? It all goes in to the same bowl anyway. And hearing the following response: Do it the way I tell you or it won’t turn out right. When she went to be with the Lord, Ghin Ghin took on the role of making the cakes.
Having mastered the art of making this pound cake (with all the ingredients added in 😉) and tweaking the recipe here and there my son’s grandfather had turned the reins over to me to continue making her cakes. Imagine my surprise when my cake fell for the first time. Okay it fell but I was still making them the same way I always had so now what? Over the next few years it would be a hit or miss. Then one day my husband happen to be coming into the house while I was baking and the door slammed; not hard mind you but enough that my cake fell. Then it happened again. This time with the bedroom door as he called out sorry didn’t mean to slam the door! My cake fell. Mystery solved. The new rule in the house: no door slamming while baking a cake. To this day when I make a cake I give fair warning and doors are closed with ease.
It’s important to follow the rules and instructions. Rules are put in place to protect us just as instructions are given to guide us. As I sit here writing the story of Jonah comes to my mind. The Lord went to Jonah saying…
Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me. Jonah 1:2
Jonah takes off refusing to obey. The result? He gets tossed into to a stormy sea, swallowed by a large fish staying there for three days and three nights, spit out onto dry land and given a second chance to obey which he did.
Then the people of nineveh believed in god; and they called a fast and put on sack cloth from the greatest to the least of them. jonah 3:5 when god saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then god relented concerning the calamity which he had declared he would bring upon them. and he did not do it. Jonah 3:10
Even though Jonah didn’t agree with the God’s decision to spare Nineveh; his reluctant obedience saved a city. Sometimes we don’t see the whole picture and we want to take shortcuts or even skip out on what is asked of us because we view it as a waste of time. How many people have we missed the opportunity to share the love of Christ with because we didn’t follow the instructions given to us? God bless.