Last week I got the notion in my head that I wanted to make more of our Thanksgiving dinner from scratch than I usually do. I've been baking my own pies for years now, I'm back in the swing of making mashed potatoes, and I've got a killer sweet potato casserole that I whip up every year. This year, something was compelling me to try my hand at dinner rolls.
I've baked bread before, plenty of times, but I've never attempted dinner rolls, so I searched around online for some ideas. I couldn't believe my luck when I found a video of a professional chef giving step-by-step instructions for an easy recipe. (Perfect for a visual learner like me!) I watched it several times, carefully making notes, until I was sure I knew what I was going to do. (And I left the window with the video open on my computer...just in case.)
I assembled my ingredients and utensils, just like a good little chef, and got down to measuring and mixing. After twenty minutes, and several trips back to the computer, I ended up with a seriously sticky, completely unworkable lump of muck. With a lot of misgiving, I added more flour, got a semblance of dough, and tried to knead it and let it rise.
After an hour, I still had a seriously sticky, completely unworkable lump of muck.
On the verge of total discouragement, I threw out the mess, cleaned up, sat back down at my computer and tweeted the following: "First attempt at dinner rolls was an unmitigated disaster. If my 2nd attempt doesn't turn out, I'm going with store-bought."
It didn't take long for two of my favorite twitter friends to answer my cry of distress. First, Heather replied with an encouraging "Don't give up, you can do it!" And then Marye, the most expert chef I'll ever know, offered to walk me through it with whatever advice she could share.
So, I tried again. And, with a lot of anxiety on my part, the dinner rolls turned out beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that they were the biggest hit of my entire dinner.
And that's when I saw Jesus in my dinner rolls.
I was compelled to try something I've never done before.
God calls us to step out of our comfort zone in service for Him.
Despite my preparation and effort, my first attempt failed.
Through trials and failings, God teaches us perseverance.
I shared my troubles with others and received help and encouragement.
We are called to be one body. No one can go it alone.
The hardest thing brought the most joy and the greatest reward.
Jesus gave his life for all. His sacrifice redeemed us, that we may all have life eternal with him.
And I can't think of anything I could be more thankful for than that.