|My grandmother's well-used Joy of Cooking (The throwback contact-paper cover is her doing. :) )|
Is it not like choosing cake—
Simple shorthand for a complex action?
What then is my recipe for joy?
Preheat the soul to absolute surrender
To the loving will of God
Who spared not His Son for your salvation.
Blend the Word of God and prayer,
Prayer and the Word,
Until the one is indistinguishable
From the other.
Stir in gratitude:
For God’s past faithfulness,
For God’s present mercies,
For God’s promises sure to come.
Add a generous pour of the oil of the Spirit
Whose fruit is joy,
And blend until thoroughly incorporated.
Gently mix in a spoonful of bitter trials,
For they cause the soul to rise toward heaven.
(Take care not to substitute bitter resentment,
Despite the resemblance of containers,
For to do so proves ruinous.)
Add a pinch of the pure salt of holiness
Or the liquid salt of tears.
Stir in a splash of sweet spiritual song,
The overflow of the Lord’s work in the heart.
Fold in the priceless treasure of the fellowship of Christ.
Pay attention; be amazed
At whatever wondrous work of God
Lies just outside your window.
Laugh out loud
With a friend.
Curve lips into a smile
In kindness to others
If not to oneself.
Make something good and beautiful and true:
A meal, a quilt,
A computer program,
A calculus equation,
A lesson plan,
A song, a garden,
Pour out your offering into each prepared day the Lord allots.
Bake in the warmth of God’s love
Under the heat of His gracious discipline.
When golden with reflected glory,
Share with a neighbor in need
While still hot.