Thursday, March 06, 2008

Microwave or Crock Pot Living

This morning I left a comment on a blog that was requesting participation in a recipe exchange. Although I think these initiatives are great ideas, I have next to no culinary expertise. I actually asked in my comment, if giving instructions on how to heat up a frozen entree would count as a submission. In my response, I also suggested that I'd like ladies to submit 'fool proof', quick menu ideas.

I no sooner pressed the "Publish Comment" button when God began to reprimand my heart. Very cleary, and in no uncertain terms, He told me that these 'fool proof', 'quick' desires were permeating all areas of my life right now. This mentality was not saved for the kitchen alone. I'm seeking "microwave living" when I should be seeking after more of a slow "crock-pot" simmer.

Stay with me here for a minute. Microwave food is fast, easy, requires virtually no effort - unless you count opening the packaging - AND, it's prepared quite often within minutes. Crock-pot cooking, on the other hand, requires a little more planning ahead and then heats for hours, but the results are well worth the wait.

Currently in several areas of my life, I want the quick 'zap' if you will, but oh how I'll miss out on that time of process. The time of God adding and mixing all the ingredients He wants to stir into my life to develop my character.

Where am I practicing microwave living right now? Well, for starters, with regards to my music lessons. Yes, just this past September I began studying the violin. I hold an A.R.C.T. Solo Performers on the piano, but I have always wanted to play the violin. Well, guess what? It's hard work! Just because I already have a musical background doesn't make my violin practicing any easier. I want a quick 'zap'. I want to be able to play beautiful melodies today - and I'm still screeching out, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", not the great works of master composers.

This holds true with my plan to commit to daily exercise as well. I'm discovering that just OWNING an eliptical does not magically keep you fit or shed pounds. Again, I want a 'zap' to remove excess weight and keep me healthy physically.

What about in the area of writing? I SAY I'm going to put aside one day a week to follow this passion that God has placed within me, but I want the book published TODAY! I want to 'zap' past the time and work required to make this dream become a reality.

Crock pot living takes time. Consider the outcome with me. The results of a meal that has been absorbing flavour all day is delicious! My mouth is watering even now, thinking of some of the delectable entrees that have captivated my taste buds. (Clarification here - my cooking hasn't done this...but I've experienced it through the kindness and generosity of meals from others.)

To prepare such a meal begins with a choice and is followed through with a commitment. In Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Say 'Yes' To God", she asks the reader this question: "Are you guilty of sacrificing what you want most for what you want right now?" In my longing to satisfy my desire of the moment, I sadly often don't make the choice that will be most beneficial in the long run. For example, I choose to watch television instead of practicing the violin. I choose to read a book instead of exercising. I choose to 'blog-hop' instead of spending time writing. Even worse...I choose to sleep instead of getting up and spending that extra time with the Lord. I confess that too often I say with Paul in Romans 7:19, "For what I do is not the good I want to do..." (NIV)

The struggle is always there. The choice must be made. God is calling me to slow down in some areas of my life. His Word to 'wait' has continued to be impressed on my heart. I want to take action and see instant results, but the Lord is speaking to me about trusting Him. One author puts it this way, "Walking on water is easy for someone with impulsive boldness" (microwave living), "but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ" (crock-pot living), "is something altogether different. Peter walked on water to go to Jesus, but he 'followed at a distance' on dry land (Mark 14:54). We don't need to DO exceptional things, but BE exceptional in the ordinary things of life and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people."

So....where do I go from here? What can help me make this adjustment? I think one thing would be accountability. Not just someone who says they will check up on me, but doesn't carry the impact of holding me to this new found truth. I need someone who asks the hard questions. Someone who doesn't take pity on me just because my day was busy or I didn't FEEL like holding to this resolve. I also need to spend time in prayer and realize afresh that ultimately everything I do is for the Lord and I should be seeking the sound of His applause alone.

Well...off to 'zap' my lunch :o) OK...did I learn anything here??!!
Have a good crock-pot day!

7 comments:

MrsJoeB said...

Beautiful post and so true to many lives-mine included! It's tougher living a crock pot life (boy that sounds funny). But it's more rewarding in the long run. I so long to be able to "slow down" and just be....don't we all? 'What Happens When Women Say YES to God' is a life transforming book. I've read it and plan to re-read it again very soon! God's blessings!
In His Graces~Pamela

Yolanda said...

Great concept, and I tend to remember vivid thoughts, this is VIVID.

Thanks and wait upon Him, you will not be dissapointed. His BEST Girlfriend, HIS BEST!

I too have just got this book in this week. Plan on starting it pronto! Let's do what we came to do. A commission from Beth Moore in Stepping Up.


Lovingly

Catherine said...

President of the Procrastinators Club checking in here. I understand your thoughts, longings and desires comepletely. Self discepline to do what we should be doing is tough! We know what we should be doing or want to be doing but actually getting it done can be a whole other story.

Hope you're able to find even one of these areas to toss into your crock pot so that you can care for it as it slowly becomes what you desire.

Hmmmm...now I'm the mood for something made in the crock pot! Wanna come over for a roast? :o)

Marilyn said...

Your post today really hit home with me! I was preparing a lesson for my ladies Sunday school class and it included some of the things you talked about. It was a real encouragement to me.
Keep up the good work in your writings!
God bless.

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

OK go with me here. When you cook in the microwave you have to rotate, stir, turn and restart the microwave. Sometimes several times. It still requires work on our part. But with the crockpot you just throw the ingredients in and let the pot do the work. Sure it takes longer but, in the end it not only tastes better it is also much less labor. What a great analogy! I think you are BRILLIANT! And I would hold you accountable if I could! You are on the right track sister, just keep pressing on!

Love, Kelley

Melissa said...

Joy,

Wow wow wow!!! You have wowed me with this post, can you tell?

We live in a world of promised quick fixes and easy simple remedies, but they are temporary. I'm guilty of wanting the quick fix myself (like with my foot right now!) But healing is a process that shouldn't be rushed.

I love your words today. A Disciplined Crock Pot Life is what I'm after. The choice is ours. You've made me think about what will I choose.

Thanks friend:) I think you are beautiful!
Melissa

Marybeth said...

Hi-- First of all, thanks for your sweet words of encouragement about my foot. I enjoyed finding you and reading your blog today.

I so resonated with this post, as that is so me. I also want to zap past all the hard work and get straight to the published work. I want to zap past all the hard character training and get straight to the godly young man or woman that I am sure waits inside each of my children. I want to zap past the daily ins and outs of marriage and be that old couple celebrating fifty golden years together with our family gathered around us to celebrate.

And yet, by zapping past all of that, I would miss life itself. I want the reward, but I don't want to do the work. And yet there is value in the work itself.

Thanks for giving me some good stuff to ponder as I battle my own little pity party about my foot. Good distraction!