I like to think I’m pretty good at baking. At the very least, I really love it. Not cooking, mind you. When it comes to cooking, I’m a disaster. Just baking. You know – cakes, biscuits, confectionary, bread – that kind of thing.
But there’s one thing I’ve never succeeded in baking – damper. Oh, I can cook it okay on a bonfire, twisted around the end of a stick, but I can’t make it from scratch in the oven and I have no idea why. I follow the recipe. In fact, I’ve followed numerous recipes over the years, blaming the recipe each time it goes wrong.
One year it came out dry, the next year burnt around the edges and still uncooked in the middle. The one year I did get it to hold together, one bite told me it was inedible – too much flour, or milk, or salt, or ... um, something. I hid that one in a bag and took it all the way out to the wheelie bin, washing up and putting away all signs that it had even been attempted. Destroy the evidence, and all that.
I’ve finally realised that five different recipes can’t be wrong. Nope, it’s me. I can’t cook damper.
And why tell you my woeful tale? Because, of course, I learnt a lesson from said damper.
You see, my mum makes exceptionally good damper. Hers comes out of the oven smelling (and tasting) so tantalisingly good that it’s all gone before it even cools. Mine comes out looking and tasting like a brick. I doubt even crows would eat it.
The thing is, we use the same recipe. I know, hard to believe given the difference in results, but we do.
The same goes for our chocolate chip biscuit recipe and our choc fudge cake recipe. Yes, I can cook those (as can all the women in my family) but they all come out tasting different. Six different people use the same recipe and have totally different tasting results. You’d think it was a completely different recipe we were all using.
I know, I said there was a lesson and here it is: God gives us all the same task – go and tell the world about Him – but the way we do that will look different to each of us.
Now, I’m not certain, since I’ve never checked for sure, but I’m guessing the difference in our results with the same recipe is because the females in my family all have very different temperaments. When it comes to baking, there’s the perfectionist, the experimenter, the ‘hmmm...that would definitely look better green ... or blue, or purple’, the follow the recipe (ish), and the ‘bake because people have to eat’... We’re all totally different, and maybe – just maybe – that’s why our results look so different.
God might have given us all the same task, but it’s going to look different to each one of us because He's made us all different to start with. Some will be boldly out there knocking on doors of strangers, others prayer walking while talking to no one. Some God might ask to spend years growing a relationship with someone before even mentioning Jesus’ name. Others will be talking about Him every chance they get. Some are up the front preaching to thousands. Others, telling a lonely person at school that they’re not alone.
Same task, different look.
And God needs them all.
Others might disagree, but I happen to think that I’m no less Australian because I can’t cook damper. And nor am I any less needed by God because my part in His Great Commission looks different to someone else’s.
Go out there and do what God’s calling you to do. And don’t worry if it looks different to the person beside you. Who knows? A few purple biscuits might be just what God needs to change someone’s life.
Happy Australia Day all!