It’s been my week to cook again. I’m delighted to tell you that not only did I make the mayo in the title (more on that in a second), I also made my first whole chicken and homemade chicken stock this week. So, it’s been a bit of an adventurous week for me. But this post isn’t really about cooking, it’s about a *cough* absolutely brilliant *cough cough* parallel or illustration that came to mind in the process of accidentally making homemade mayo.
So, today I was going to make avocado tuna boats for lunch. Didn’t sound hard. The ingredient list was basic. I just started following Step 1, putting an egg, apple cider vinegar, some mustard and salt in our food processor. Then I read the next bit of instructions and suddenly realized I was about to make mayo! This might not seem like a big deal for many of you. You might not have read a few blog posts about how difficult it is to make homemade mayo and how easily you can mess it up and how it often doesn’t turn out quite right. You might not have written off making homemade mayo as too likely to fail.
Needless to say, I suddenly felt very nervous. But the instructions just seemed so basic and relaxed and I had already put all those ingredients in the bowl – it seemed like a waste not to go ahead and try it. So I did. And it actually turned into mayo! It wasn’t quite as fluffy but that wasn’t a big deal considering it was going straight into a tuna mixture.
Ok, so that’s the story. And what are the brilliant parallels I want to draw from this experience? Maybe you can guess:
1. We often don’t try things because they sound too hard.
Sometimes, we overthink things. We read way too many reader comments, overload on variables and possibilities and ultimately discard ideas because we feel overwhelmed (this is often me researching recipes by the way). But it applies to all kinds of decisions in life – projects we want to do, ways to volunteer, whether or not to adopt or foster children, where to give our money. Even much more basic decisions about our consumer choices or activities often fall by the wayside because we think changing just sounds “too hard.”
2. Sometimes it’s better to not know the destination before starting on the journey because if we did, we would never go.
Which brings me back (as I feel like so many things do) to Lord of the Rings. Did you see that coming? Yup – I’m talking about Frodo again. Initially when he agrees to take the ring out of the Shire, he thinks he’s only traveling to Bree to meet Gandalf and then figure things out. If he had known he would take the ring all the way into Mordor, he might have never agreed to the journey at all.
This is a big reminder to me that our desire for certainty gets in the way. We want to know the whole plan before we start. We get frustrated with God when he doesn’t “show” us where we should be going. Maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe we’d never agree to start the journey if we knew each step before we took it. By digging in our heels and refusing to go, we would never find out if we could do it. I think the courage only comes in the moment, not before. The resilience to continue, the wisdom for decisions, the skills we need to learn and grow – these are supplied as needed, on a “give us this day our daily bread” kind of basis.
Which leads me to my conclusion:
3. Just do it!
You learn by trying. Faith becomes real in action.
(Obviously for those of you that tend to be the opposite of me and leap before you look, maybe your job is to stop and assess a little more before you jump into action – nuance, people, one message does not fit all!).
Have any epiphanies of your own in ordinary moments this week?