Cooking Tip #5: How to Crack an Egg

Cooking for Geeks coverNot so very long ago, a friend lent me a book called Cooking for Geeks.  This book was intended to explain, in precise and empirical language that a scientist like me could appreciate, exactly how to do amazing things in the kitchen.  Like fry an egg without causing an explosion.

I’m not sure it achieved its intended effect, but one message of this book has in fact stuck with me.  In one memorable section, this book called on all the laws of physics (i.e., it showed a picture) to compare the effects of cracking an egg on the side of a bowl versus cracking an egg on a flat surface like the countertop.  One of these methods is more likely than the other to result in egg shell in the resulting product.  Do you know which one?

Let me give you a hint.  Before I read this book, I always cracked my eggs on the side of the bowl.  (Now that I have read the book, I still crack my eggs on the side of the bowl.  Then, as I am picking out egg shells, I am reminded that I should have used the countertop.)

The other day as I was once again picking shell out of my egg (it takes a while, so I had plenty of time to think), I was pondering Martin Luther’s exposition on God’s Law.  (This is actually a more logical connection than you might think.  Really.)  Martin Luther said the 3-fold purpose of the Law was to act as a curb (to prevent us from going too far astray), a mirror (to allow us to recognize when we have done something wrong), and a guide (to show us what we should be doing instead).  There are times when we may not even realize we’re sinning until we bump up against that curb… until we’re wiping egg off our face or picking shell out of our omelet.  Maybe we said something we shouldn’t have said; maybe we did something we shouldn’t have done; but sooner or later we get a twinge of conscience.  We bump that curb, and we begin (step two) to reflect upon what we did.  (“Oh, I should not have done that!”)  That’s when the third purpose of the Law becomes manifest.  It’s not enough for us to know what not to do.  We also need to know what to do.  My cookbook tells me how to crack an egg.  God’s cookbook tells us how to live: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).

None of us can do this perfectly.  We mess up – just like every time I forget and crack an egg on the side of the bowl.  But each time we do, God’s law curbs, reflects, and guides us back to Him.

No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to follow God’s Law perfectly.  We will always forget.  We will always crack the egg on the side of the bowl.  The truth is, when it comes to this analogy, we’re not the Master Chef.  We’re not even the sous chef.

We’re the egg.

The Fall in the Garden of Eden was far worse than anything Humpty Dumpty ever dreamed up, and we’re never going to be able to put ourselves back together again.  That could be the end of the story, but thank God it’s not!  God’s cookbook doesn’t end with the Law.  It ends with the fulfillment of the Law: Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is the Master Chef.  He picks the pieces out of our lives.  He wipes the egg from our face.  He presents us as blameless before the Father.

When we try to live out God’s Law on our own power, we will always fail.  But when we place our lives entirely into the hands of Jesus, we are the most beautiful cracked egg of all. 

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this Man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by Him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39).

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If Life Were Like the Super Bowl

This week at a Bible study, my pastor lead us through an interesting discussion beginning with the question, “If life were like the Super Bowl, what would our role be?”  I liked his analogy so much, I decided to share it.  Credit for this analogy goes to my pastor; any misrepresentations in my embellishments are my own!

If life were like the Super Bowl…

SuperBowl

We would not be the spectators.  It is not our role to simply sit back and watch.  We are not called to idleness, but to action.  We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13).

We would not be the referees.  We do not make the rules, nor do we enforce them.  It is not our place to judge the thoughts and actions of others.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12)

We would not be the coaches on the sidelines.  We do not get to call the plays. A person’s steps are directed by the Lord (Proverbs 20:24a).

We would not be up in the press box.  We are not a neutral observer, hovering over the game.  It is not our job to analyze the stats and interpret the plays of the game for others.  No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).

So what would our role be?

We would be the players, out on the field, getting muddy.  Each one of us would have a specialized job to do for the benefit of the whole team.  For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us (Romans 12:4-6a).

This does not mean we can’t do things outside our primary skill.  Only a fool would say, “Well, I could have intercepted that pass, but that’s not really my primary job so I left if for someone else to do.”  No.  There are times when we are called to do the work that is at hand, regardless of our comfort or skill. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10a).

If we were players in the Super Bowl of life, there would be both challenges and victories.  Sometimes we would perform a spectacular block that saves someone else from harm.  Sometimes we would catch the touchdown pass.  Sometimes we would take a blow to the head and be carried off the field.  But no matter what was happening around us or to us, we would play with a foreknowledge that no one in the Super Bowl has:  We know who wins the game.  The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

We have to play hard until the clock runs out.  That is our job.  But we can also play with the knowledge that when the final whistle blows, we are not left muddy on the field.  We are invited to the victory party of our Lord.  And if you thought the Super Bowl party was fun, you haven’t seen anything yet.

SuperBowl-Celebration

 Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).