I love cake so much; proper cake: a symphony of ingredients, moist and often with fresh cream. I’m not a fan of cupcakes though, unless they are baked to perfection. I consider them glorified muffins….but that is a story for another day.
I’ve had too many horrible pastry experiences to learn that I cannot just get cake from anywhere. I have specific ‘joints’ I buy cake from. The problem with this specificity is that I often get cravings when I’m nowhere near any of these places. This used to be a problem before I discovered baking channels on YouTube. Now, I’m a master baker…. in my head…because we don’t have an oven at home. One of the greatest and worst discoveries I made on these videos is the ‘Microwave Mug Cake’. For those who don’t know about it, this cake takes about three minutes to prepare and five minutes to bake in your microwave.
The first time I discovered this, I had cake every other day. I was like a kid at a candy store! It was the reason (among many others) I got the opportunity to do the previous post. With time, the excitement of having cake whenever I wanted died down. Before last week, it had been a few months since I had made one of these mug cakes. So there I was, having my cake and it wasn’t as satisfying. I could notice the lack of ‘perfect moistness’; the lack of a flat top; the imperfect shape; the basic nature of the taste; the lack of fresh cream; the enthusiasm I lacked.
Avoiding the Process
As I tried to understand why I ever liked this cake, it dawned on me that I have been approaching life like a microwave mug cake. I’ve wanted to achieve certain things without necessarily going through the process. I haven’t looked for shortcuts; I’ve been willing to walk the road but I’ve instead focused my energies on finding ways to teleport from the starting line to my destination. I have become impatient with the process: in growing spiritually, in business, with people, in relationships. Like that cake, instead of preheating the oven, using measurements to the tee and baking it at the right temperature for the stipulated time, I have eyeballed some measurements into a cup, popped it in the microwave for five minutes and ended up with a tiny cake that is a far cry from what I needed. It also became clear that a lot of us are trying to duck the process:
- Look at the betting wave that has swept over the nation: a number of people have sold possessions, used school fees and even taken out loans to place a big ‘sure’ bet that was to catapult them to riches in a matter of days only to end up losing and taking their own lives. What would it have cost them to consistently work smart and hard, building themselves up over time?
- Look at the number of people who are getting saved today and are in studio tomorrow releasing ‘gospel’ songs and starting their ‘gospel’ music careers. What would it have cost them to sit under an authority as disciples; to delve deeply in the Word so that the songs they sing are more than just words but full of the Word which edifies?
- Look at the corruption scandals we hear of every day. People get into government and they own the best cars, multiple houses and have a completely different standard of living only a few months later. What would it have cost them to serve the people who elected them and be content with the salary that they receive, maximizing on investments instead of looting?
Biblical Examples of Process
Abraham didn’t settle for a microwave mug cake. He attempted to with Hagar but we all know how that turned out. Joseph didn’t settle for a mug cake either. In fact, he was in the fire baking for a good number of years before he could become second to the pharaoh. The place of preparation is just as critical as the destination. Otherwise, David would have ascended to the throne the minute he was anointed to be king by Samuel. And he could have, but he esteemed the anointing of God over Saul as well, knowing that God would still give him the throne and in His time. After all, had God not been faithful when He enabled David to kill a bear, a lion and even Goliath? For others like Moses, the process seemed rosy at first: eating and living like a prince in the palace. Who knew that it would escalate to him murdering an Egyptian and going into exile before he could be the one to lead the children of Israel out of slavery?
With every one of these men, we can see how crucial the process was. They wouldn’t have become who God had called them to be or received what God had in store for them if they had circumvented the process.
My take away from the whole cake experience is that there’s a purpose for process. Time isn’t my enemy. I don’t need to rush against it to achieve what I want. If I walk in the Spirit, the fruit (which includes patience) will be made manifest in my life. That way, I know where God has me. Although I may not know the why, I can still enjoy the process knowing that He is working in and through me to achieve that which He wants. And if He is for me, who can be against me?