Sunday, September 25, 2011

Transforming The Mundane Into The Majestic

Sunday is the day I share a little of my soul. I call it the Bread of Life Section.

"Tell me reason why and I will move Heaven and Earth to do it."--unknown.

I had one of those weeks this week that tops the charts on seeing dreams fulfilled and blessings come into my life. It's been one of those weeks where in my heart I've said to the Lord, "It worked just like you said it would! I'm shocked and amazed...and overcome with gratitude." God, it appears, can still part seas and work marvelous miracles when we believe. He can also transform seemingly mundane experiences into majestic and powerful tools for our learning and strength. 

I think that one of the greatest joys I have as a cooking and baking instructor is seeing the eyes of my students when they finally understand a concept I am trying to express. I've seen that spark of inspiration and power seemingly fly from my heart to theirs. Perhaps some of the most sweet and amazing expressions come to me in the form of letters and calls when a student will say, "It worked just like you said it would!" . Once someone said to me,  "You said if I used less flour and kneaded longer the results would be bread like yours. I didn't want to get my hands dirty. I just wanted to use my bread machine. It seemed like such a boring waste of time to spend that much effort at that stage but...I did what you said to do and now I'm so happy with the results."

A waste of time?! Boring?! What! I personally adore kneading bread. It's a precious time for me to engage in something grounding, calming, exacting, artistic and repetitive. It's almost like meditation when I let it be...and I love the results I get from doing it. It doesn't just make better makes a better me. But...if I look at it as a chore, I could see how it would seem boring.

On the other hand, there are a few times when I'll hear things like, "...but I don't want to do it that way." "I changed the recipe and did something else and now your recipe doesn't work." I have to remind my friends as gently as I can that if they change it...then it wasn't my recipe. It was their own plan. I know you don't like having sticky dough. I know it's more work. I realize there may be a seemingly easier way. I teach you this way so you can get experience. The only way to to learn. I've said it for years, "I only know what I know. " Deep thought.  I had to ask myself this question :Do I ever  do that with the Lord's recipes? Change the ingredients and then wonder why it didn't work "like He said it would" when in fact I was  the ones who had tried to figure it out on my own outside of His tried and true plan...and failed. To the degree that you follow the recipe, is the degree to which you get results. It's simple. Yet as a human I sometimes tend to forget that! Obedience is the first law of heaven for a reason. I may not understand why I have to do the seemingly mundane chores...but I think those are usually the days I lose sight of the "why".  Why did I commit to being a mom? Oh I could make an eternal difference in the life of another person. Duh. That's my why!

So...what is the Why in following the Savior? I heard last night, perhaps one of the greatest sermons, on the subject from Dieter F. Uchtdorf :

The Power of Knowing “Why”

"... the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come. The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us. While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet.
Let us not walk the path of discipleship with our eyes on the ground, thinking only of the tasks and obligations before us. Let us not walk unaware of the beauty of the glorious earthly and spiritual landscapes that surround us... seek out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the “why” of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The “what” and “how” of obedience marks the way, yes, and it keeps us on the right path. But the “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration.  — Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Raejean said...

I loved President Uchtdorf's talk too! I even wrote part of that same quote in my journal. I suddenly have an urge to keep a picture of a forget-me-not in my home.

Thanks for sharing your analogy about changing the recipe.

TheRosaryLady said...

Absolutely beautiful post, Stephanie. At first I was speechless, and then consumed by emotions. Now to use all of that today and every day. Thank you for sharing.