I caught myself worshiping an Easy-Bake oven today. Perhaps that needs some explanation.
Easy-Bake ovens have been around for years. I had one. My mom had one. The principle is simple. Follow the directions on the packet of Easy-Bake ingredients, pour it into the Easy-Bake pan, shove it in the Easy-Bake hole with the Easy-Bake stick, and watch a 75 watt light bulb do the cooking for you. After way longer than today’s child’s patience can handle, say, a whole 30 minutes, your lumpy, doughy cake emerges. Then, you get to feed it to your parents, who gleefully accept it and promptly hide it in the nearest potted plant.
Maybe these aren’t as popular as they were when I was a kid. After all, today’s girls aren’t getting trained in domesticity as much. For playtime, they get Insurance Adjuster Barbie and CEO dress up clothes.
It’s idiot proof cooking, provided you follow all the instructions. Even then, it’s hard to mess it up. Each recipe has 2 ingredients: the mix and water (but sometimes, dirt or fingernail polish might be substituted in a pinch…it turns out about the same).
I caught myself treating God like my old Easy-Bake Oven. I wanted something: to get a specific book published. I lined up all the required ingredients, the ones that I’d read about. I prepared them exactly as directed and shoved them in the oven, expecting my perfect product to come out in the end. Instead, I didn’t get my book published. I’m still working on it, and my Easy-Bake God didn’t work it out for me.
“Why can’t it just be easy?” I found myself asking Him.
God chose to respond by reminding me of my little oven and its crappy cakes. I don’t want a God who works like that. Not only does the product stink, the process gets old in a hurry. You can only Easy Bake for so long; then you grow up and want an Electrolux.
God’s not going to do what I want, just because I found out the winning combination of words and actions. He’s not a kitchen appliance. He’s a father, who listens to his child, but he doesn’t give her every single little thing she asks for. And even if He does, the child often has to work hard for it.
So, when I next catch myself wanting this whole process to be easy, I’ll remember how awful those little cakes tasted, and look forward to savoring the sweet taste of success, God’s way.