I added all the necessary ingredients. Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, a banana, spinach, chia seeds and a splash of local honey. A little water and some crushed ice and I was ready to blend my morning smoothie. I placed it on the base and hit the button only to realize my grave mistake two seconds too late. One missing, necessary, "ingredient" - the lid. Pregnancy brain? Morning rush? Or just plain stupidity. It didn't matter what the reason, the after effect was now splattered all over the counter.
Even as I was mopping up my mess, I started to laugh at myself. I couldn't be mad at the blender. It was doing its job of tossing around ingredients. I couldn't be mad at the ingredients, though now I was really aggravated that the sticky honey happened to be on top. I certainly couldn't be mad at the forgotten lid - it would have done its job had I put it in place. It was clear there was only one to blame: Operator error. The catalyst for this accident was my negligence (forgetfulness?) in missing the lid.
I couldn't mistake the fact that I needed the reminder. I needed to be confronted with the idea that so often my good intentions get messed up, my plans get foiled. I also couldn't overlook the reality that what I put into my life will eventually come out, ready or not.
I have to follow through with the entire process: The need to carefully choose the ingredients that I place in my life; the necessity of properly using the tools available to me; the process by which those ingredients culminate into something together; and the understanding, and grace, to not always get it right.
I'm happy to report I was able to salvage most of the ingredients, properly place the lid and still enjoy the majority of my smoothie. I'm also pretty sure I will double check to make sure the lid is on before I hit blend tomorrow. I'm taking some time to reflect on what my smoothie incident taught me today. When it's blended together properly and poured out for consumption, everything serves its intended purpose. Ingredients by themselves don't make the recipe. Spitting out bible verses without them being the marrow of my life would be like chunks of strawberries smothered in yogurt and covered in chia seeds. I can't expect it to be choked down, swallowed whole, when it's meant to be sipped like a smoothie. I can't just add the ingredients of "Christianity" and hope for the best. Ultimately it's up to me to make sure I'm filled with the One that will make me a blessing to others and not a bothersome mess. I must commit to the full process of spiritual growth and intimacy with Christ.
What ingredients are you putting into your life? What tools are you using to cultivate the process? Take it from me, every part is important!