by Caryl Moll
My gift had travelled with us for over 600 kms. It lay on the back seat of our car – a plastic bag filled with all the dry ingredients to make up my special brand of “Bran muffins.” This package was intended for the Chef at our lodge. It was heart-felt and aimed at conveying our appreciation for the opportunity of spending time in the bush.
I’ve made these muffins for many years. They’re easy and my family love them. They’re large, chunky and yummy – ideal to fill the gap in ravenous tummies. They’re high in fibre too, so could pass as ‘healthy’.
The package had all the ingredients that Chef needed to make the muffins. I hoped that he could perhaps have some fun too – a diversion from his busy day in the hot kitchen as he worked to serve his guests.
He just had to add the wet stuff. Or so I thought…
“Thank you so much,” Chef Jonson smiled. I’d finally met him and he tipped his head in grateful thanks.
“Enjoy it,” I beamed. It felt good to do something for someone else.
At breakfast the next morning, the dining area looked pristine and tastefully decorated despite us being only one of two couples. The setting was exquisite. The lake around the lodge teamed with birds and game. A group of Egyptian geese squabbled loudly while a cool breeze fluttered the table cloths. Vases of wild flowers were placed elegantly amongst the tables. We sat down and waited for the other guests to arrive. The lodge was practically empty. Paradise!
Chef Jonson came over to greet us. I noticed his pride as he took time to explain the menu. Then he smiled secretively and left briskly to the kitchen. He was soon back at our table – this time clutching a small, steaming basket. I recognised the aroma immediately.
“My muffins?” I gasped. He nodded and smiled widely.
“Made especially for you. I hope you like them.”
Les and I looked at each other with surprise as Chef placed the basket in front of us.
“But I meant them for you..?” I countered. But Chef continued to smile.
I gently peeled back the covers of the basket to peep inside. The aroma was all too familiar. It reminded me of home – practically bringing my family along into the lodge with us. Chef Jonson watched our reactions with keen interest.
My muffins had never looked so good. Nor had they smelled so delicious. Somehow Chef had waved his magic spoon and produced something totally different. These muffins were small, delicate, perfectly risen and uniform in shape – quite unlike my own chunky efforts at home.
“Wow!” I exclaimed. “These are amazing. Thank you so, so much. They look absolutely incredible!”
“You are most welcome!”
Chef continued to smile and then he made a quick, humble bow in front of me. We were being treated royally although there was no divide between us.
I took a moment to savour the delicacy. The muffins were absolutely perfect and seemed to ooze something unique and personal. Was this really my recipe? How had he baked them so perfectly? They were moist, delicious – my mouth is watering as I write this.
“I wonder what the secret ingredient is…?” I looked at Les. He smiled as if he knew.
“What is it…?” I pleaded.
Chef had taught me an important lesson at the lodge that morning. He proved the importance of that elusive, not-so-secret ingredient. I suspect that you already know what it is?
Yes, you’ve got it… It’s when you pour your whole self into your task to make a difference in someone else’s life. … it is the all-important, divine ingredient –
1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
I was taught, yet again, that if we don’t add love to what we do, our efforts amount to nothing. We can perfect our routines and our daily habits, but without love they are just that – empty efforts and routines. If we add love to our work and activities, it brings a whole new recipe into our lives. It brings smiles to the recipients, kindness and joy to our hearts and a whole new feel to our world.
Love can be dispensed in our smiles. It’s the comforting gestures we extend to others. It’s in the breath we take when we centre our thoughts on someone else. It’s in our uplifting prayers, words, thoughts and gifts. It is what should make us human. It’s part of Jesus’s recipe. Love started our world. And it’s love that continues to permeate into God’s whole story. Let’s fill the world with love!
So, dear Sister/Brother-in-Christ, I’m off to the kitchen now. I challenge you too to try out my recipe. But this time, add you own unique blend of LOVE. Perhaps consider blessing someone else with your efforts. Either way, jump on the band wagon with me. Let’s make our world a better place!
May God bless you as you add your own ‘cup of love’ to all the activities in your day.
With love, in Christ
Ps. Let us know how your own recipe turns out 😉