Potato Guts and All That Jazz

I was not always the brilliant chef that I am today…there was definitely a time when Wolfgang Puck would have banished me from ever picking up a spatula again. A specific example of my culinary faux pas comes to mind – the first time I tried to make mashed potatoes. As embarrassing as this is to relate, I can still clearly recall the first time I attempted to make mashed potatoes. I was 17 years old; my high school life was a very busy one, so traditional “Marie Calendar” type meals were reserved mostly for holidays and very special gatherings. In short, mashed potatoes were not often on the menu at home, and I had not yet discovered the wonderful little packages of potato flakes at the grocery store.

So I decide one day to make my mother a nice meal, including mashed potatoes. I did not bother to consult a cookbook, or a cook for that matter on the proper steps to creamy potato delight. I skinned the tatoes and cut them into pieces. So far, so good…right? That is where the plan turned south. I did not know that I needed to boil the potatoes to make them soft for mashing…I just went at it like a banshee. Did I get anywhere? Ha-ha…after 10 minutes and getting myself completely frustrated, I found myself a new tool: the meat tenderizer. Yessiree, I pounded the P out of those tatoes! I remember my mother arriving home in the midst of my senseless bludgeoning and laughingly demanding what I thought I was doing. That was 15 years ago, and she still chuckles when reference is made to my foray into country cooking.

Many times we are so eager to jump out into what God has called us to do that we forget there are steps to take. Check out any great man of faith in the Bible and you will see God’s pattern – you have to begin with the small steps before you move on to the bigger ones. David is considered one of Israel’s greatest kings, and called a man after God’s own heart. But he did not begin in the palace – far from it. He started out as a shepherd, tending his father’s sheep. In fact, on the day that the prophet Samuel anointed him as king, David was busy looking after the sheep. And what happened after Samuel anointed him? He went right back to doing his job.

The same goes for Abraham – he began by obeying when God told him to go. He did not know where he was going, but he knew which direction to start. Psalms 37:23 says that God orders the steps of the righteous. And John 10:27 says that, as God’s sheep, we know the voice of our Shepherd. The Word of God is your guide through life – your source for all of your steps. And your counsel. Clearly, I should have sought advice before I dove head-first into the kitchen to make like Paula Deane. But I thought I knew what I was doing, so I ignored the cookbooks. Do not ever think that you know enough to ignore the Word. And if you try to skip steps or take short cuts, you may end up with a bowl full of potato carnage

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