Thursday, January 28, 2010
Punched to Rise
Bread. It's not an item that just you just throw together any old way and expect to just happen. I was making a loaf this afternoon (and yes, I cheat. I use my bread machine for the mixing the dough/rising and punching part.) But still, I couldn't just say, "Oh here's some flour, eggs and let's throw in some yeast and a few other things" and expect to have something I can put on the dinner table and it be edible. No, there's a process. Mix the ingredients in a particular order...put it in an environment condusive to the yeast making the dough rise, punch it down, repeat and repeat until finally the dough goes into the bread pan, then into the oven at the right temperature and for the perfect amount of time. The final result? A golden brown...Crispy on the outside and white fluffy on the inside...loaf of bread. A loaf that's steaming hot and ready to tear into and be gobbled up by some hungry folks. Around here...that happens really quickly :).
People are kind of the same way. For us to reach our full potential, a lot of things have to come together, in the right order and in the right time; a lot of good things and a lot of not so good things. Many times we rise and get punched back down, only to rise and be punched back down, again and again. Until finally, we become a product that, when sent through the fire, we come out useful and ready to serve the purpose God intended for our lives. But that punching down part isn't too much fun. Right? Well, it's not to me and I have a tendency to want to run and hide. But I guess that's where the trials and the low spots in our lives serve to create in us a person more usable, more able to "rise" to the purpose for which we were created. Plus, we never know what we're going to be when we grow up. At least not in God, because the day I stop growing will, I figure, be the day that I give up the ghost. So this is really a life-long process. With that being said then, the next time I feel like I'm being punched down...I'll try to make myself remember this thought...and know, I will be better for it, in the end.