Family works

Speaking on ingredients

Rob Coombs ID. Min. Ph.D.
Posted 4/16/17

No cookbook is complete without a joke recipe — one with crazy ingredients that if you made it, no one would want to eat it.

My favorite is a recipe I ran across a number of years ago titled …

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Family works

Speaking on ingredients


No cookbook is complete without a joke recipe — one with crazy ingredients that if you made it, no one would want to eat it.

My favorite is a recipe I ran across a number of years ago titled “Elephant Stew.” The ingredients: 1 medium size elephant, brown gravy, 2 rabbits (optional), salt and pepper. The instructions are to cut up the medium size elephant into bite-size pieces. This should take about two months. Cover with 60 gallons of brown gravy. Cook over kerosene fire about four weeks at 463 degrees. This will serve 3,800 people. If more are expected, two rabbits may be added, but do this only if necessary, as most people do not like to find a hare in their stew.

Cooking up a tasty dish involves ingredients, proportion and timing. Getting everything in the right order, with the right amounts, at the right time. These are problems not only for cooks, but for wives, for husbands, for children ... and even problems for grandparents and great-grandparents.

How to get it right. How not to overcook or undercook.

Anxiously we mix the ingredients, turn up the heat, and pray that everything will come out in such a way that meets our hopes and expectations.

Do you pray that your life will somehow come out right? Most of us do. Sometimes carefully and sometimes haphazardly, we mix the ingredients of life together hoping that the outcome will be pleasing to our taste.

Did we use too much of one ingredient and not enough of another? If we make a mistake or two along the way, this may be less desirable, but still palatable. What becomes unpalatable is to believe that we have so messed up the recipe for our lives that there is no longer possible a taste-worthy outcome to our lives.

In frustration and disillusionment we may give up, no longer believing that we have what it takes to create a life worth living and, even less, a life that we can serve with pride.

Can we get the ingredients for living wrong? Yes. Although the ingredients are different for each of us, knowing what ingredients to use and, just as importantly, what ingredients to leave out, is critical to a successful outcome.

How do we learn the appropriate mixture for our lives? We might learn from parents, teachers and friends. We might learn from reading books and studying the lives of successful people. We might learn from our mistakes and suffering consequences.

In the process, we may have several dreadful failures. Why didn’t we do more of this and less of that? As tempting as it may be to throw in the towel and walk out of the kitchen, refuse. What eventually determines the outcome of one’s life is staying in the kitchen, putting up with the messes we make, facing the heat, and continuing to learn.

Although there are many other ingredients in life that can ruin a good recipe, some to be avoided are pride, jealousy, unresolved anger, laziness, greed, gluttony, and lust. I’m certainly not the first to mention these poisons. We have been warned concerning their potential to ruin the mix of life for thousands of years. We, too, have been encouraged by many to remember to include in the mix of our lives ingredients like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. Such ingredients have the potential to produce a life that ultimately is pleasing and worthwhile.

How you mix the ingredients for your life is ultimately your choosing. Bon vivant.


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