Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)
TITLE: Secret Ingredients
By Charlotte Goglin
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The key to most culinary delights is a single ingredient that enhances the taste and completes the perfect meal. Some restaurants will share their baking secrets, but most will conceal the forbidden knowledge to encourage customer loyalty. On the other hand, moms and grandmas around the world will eagerly teach and share everything they know, to hand over a favorite recipe to family members.
A simple teaspoon of vanilla can change the entire taste of a slice of cake or chunk of creamy fudge. A sprinkling of oregano adds a distinctive flavor to lasagna. Confectioner’s sugar instead of granulated sugar adds a delightful melt-in-your-mouth texture to homemade cookies. Try substituting buttermilk instead of regular, to dip your chicken tenders in before covering them with bread crumbs and you will discover a delicious improvement.
As we contemplate the recipe for an enjoyable life, God is faithful in holding the keys to our happiness in His mighty hands. If the missing ingredient of “love” were to be omitted from our lives, we would lose the right consistency to interact with others showing compassion and servitude. The Bible illustrates the disadvantages of overlooking this essential ingredient:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 have not love, I am nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3 NIV).”
Just the right amount of grace and mercy from God, allows us forgiveness of sins and the opportunity to receive salvation in Jesus Christ. A gentle touch of the Holy Spirit adds a pleasant aroma to our senses as God uses this element to teach and guide us. How many times have we avoided a tragedy due to awareness within us, protecting us from harm? How fortunate we are to have a life-line through prayer, another valuable ingredient, to communicate with God.
We all need to share the unique qualities that make up a creative life, whether it is a well-planned meal, a special project, or lifestyle change. The key to any situation is to look for missing parts of the puzzle that would enhance the outcome. When in line at the grocery store, let that tired mom go first with kids in tow. Add a few more dollars to that Salvation Army bucket. Offer to take a recent widower to lunch. Look for the good in people. Spread joy to each corner of your neighborhood with a beautiful medley of secrets to share.
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