Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Making Substitutions

1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

This is the ingredient list for the recipe that I used on Saturday to bake a pumpkin pie for a friend.  Sound like a pretty easy and straight forward recipe?  It is if you live where you can go and buy a can of pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, and corn syrup, but what if you don't?  If you don't, you have two choices.  You can either avoid making dishes like this that take ingredients that you don't have, or you must start making substitutions.  Helene and I both live in a place where fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and relatively cheap, but ready-made processed products are harder to come by, and we both love to cook.  We have both become very adept at making substitutions.  Saturday, I cooked and mashed a raw pumpkin, added milk and powdered milk together, and used honey after I over boiled the homemade corn syrup that I was attempting to make.

I know that you are asking: what in the world does this have to do with my daily Bible reading?  As I was making all of these substitutions, I began dwelling on my poor Bible reading.  I started thinking about how reading does not come as easy for me as for some others; I read about twice as slow as the average person and much slower than fast readers.  When you add this to  attention issues, it makes daily reading a challenge.

In Matthew 25 there are three servants who are all given different numbers of talents from their master.  One slave is given five talents, one two, and another only one talent.  The two who were given more talents both doubled what they were given, but the other man buried his talent and only returned the original talent to the master upon his return.  The master was not happy with the servant who did not use what he was given.  Even though this man didn't have as much to begin with, he was expected to find a way to use what he did have. 

I may not be as talented as some.  My skill cupboard, if you will, doesn't come as well stocked as others.  I can choose not to do what God has commanded me, or I can find a way to obey with what I have been given.  Practically speaking, I either don't read, or I must figure out how to obey God with my slow reading and poor attention.  I know that it is difficult for me to read when there is a lot going on in the day and when I am tired at night, so what this means in my life is that I need to substitute my late bed time for an earlier one in order to be able to get up early to read while the house is still quiet.  I may need to substitute a more difficult version of the Bible for a slightly easier one, or listen to an audio version

When it is time to make a pumpkin pie or another western treat, I can either take the time to figure out the substitutions, or I can live without these treats.  In our Christian walk, though, not obeying because we are not as gifted as others isn't a good option.  If we choose this, we will face the consequences of the one talent slave who was thrown out "into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:30).

There are many aspects of faith that come easier for some and more difficult for others.  What are some of the areas that come more difficult for you, and what have you found that helps you obey despite your deficits? 

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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