This week, I forgot that I couldn’t make cookies.
It was my day to bring snacks for Vacation Bible School and I decided to bake cookies, forgetting that for thirty years I have never successfully baked anything. My problem is that I’m always in too much of a hurry or I am wildly distracted. I neglect to preheat the oven. I forget to set a timer. I can’t find the hot pads or the spatula. A cookie from my kitchen is either raw or burned or (my specialty) both raw and burned at the same time.
I’m pretty sure that there is a life-lesson for me somewhere in all of my cookie-baking inadequacy. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know. But meanwhile, the Vacation Bible School kids are hungry and I am determined. I brought the cookies to the church kitchen early, hoping no one would notice their origin. When I set them out at ten-thirty for the hungry campers, no one complained. Instead, one of the older boys asked, “How many can we have?” I saw no hint of sarcasm. “As many as you want”, I replied. He took three.
When you’re hungry, even a less-than-perfect cookie will do.
There wasn’t a crumb left on the plate when snack time was over that day. I wondered why I had worried so much. I think sometimes we just need to bring our best and trust God for the rest. I have found lately that I don’t need to hold myself to an impossible standard of perfection. Can the cookies finally be good enough? And then maybe, just maybe, I can trust that God hasn’t left me half-baked either. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Eph. 2:10)
I find it comforting that the good works God has prepared for us aren’t things that we do, but instead they are a “way of life.” From morning to morning our “way of life” is simply to be what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus.
Bake a perfect cookie or not, it’s all grace anyway.