I was making a batch of potato soup when it just hit me how I hardly ever use a recipe. How do I know it will turn out?
I remember when I was young my grandmother teaching me how to cook. She didn’t follow recipes either, she just knew what to do.
I would watch her throw in a little of this and a little of that, never doubting the end results.
If I would have questioned whether she knew what she was doing or not, I wouldn’t have learned much. But I had faith she was right and now I trust my instincts and can believe in my ability.
Faith in our Savior works much the same way. Jesus showed us how to live. We choose to question Him or follow His lead.
With cooking it is important to know what goes together. You don’t usually mix sweet with bitter, and preparing meat is different than cooking vegetables.
You learn how much heat is needed and what spices go with different foods. The more you practice and prepare, the better you get.
With our faith in Jesus it is a bit more difficult. First off, you have to believe that He was the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Then you have to know what His nature was.
He was, above all, loving and accepting. He understood people had human needs to eat and drink, to sustain life… but He knew they had spiritual needs as well.
Spiritual needs that so far in history before Him, man had not been able to figure out how to meet.
By the time Jesus walked the earth there were so many rules and regulations wrapped up in religion that no man was able to obey them all.
He came to teach that the rules and regulations were not working. He taught that we needed to simply love God and to love each other.
He taught that no one was so bad or so far from the love of God that they couldn’t get back.
His life was about teaching us the way to behave when faced with adversity. That forgiveness and understanding would be a large part of our lives and He promised to give us what we need to live that way.
Now, when I boil it all down like this and it seems and sounds so simple, the trouble comes when we are living our day-to-day complicated lives.
We get caught up in fancy recipes that undermine the basic fundamentals of what we know works.
We see other people in the world who are living or achieving differently from us and we think they have something we are missing out on. So we might try to fit in with groups that place a lot of value on material possessions, but we then end up so caught up in earning money we take our eyes off of valuing people.
There are a million-and-one ways we get ourselves off track, and many things look more attractive than the tried and true methods of Jesus. People like me, who have chased down dreams and ambitions in other ways, have come up empty.
I have looked for happiness in the acceptance of others, gaining material success, and discovering there is no joy there, either.
We can write columns or books and lead lectures and classes, but you will have to travel down your own path to this understanding.
I guess the reason for my writing is the hope it makes your journey a little easier. If you know someone else has struggled with the same issues, you know you are not alone.
Jesus mentioned this in His time on earth, too, that you are not alone. If we only will realize just who walks beside us we would be so much more brave and confident.
He wants us to have faith in Him and in ourselves, to trust in our abilities and our intuition.
There is no greater way to grow in faith and confidence than to study the Bible. Jesus was and is the word of God and the passages He spoke from Matthew to John are like words of gold when it comes to living our lives.
I was fortunate to have been raised up in a church that focused on memorizing His words to help me through life, and I must say it has been beneficial all the days of my life.
It was how I recognized that I was on the wrong path and how I found my way back.
I encourage you to begin with reading them and don’t stop until they become a part of your daily thoughts.
(Rhonda Sexton is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in Neosho with her husband and children. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-389-1222.)