Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. Psalm 86:11
No good Southern cook follows a recipe. For most, a recipe is a suggestion. Since my blood runneth thick with mustard barbeque sauce, I speak with authority when I say a Southern cook’s diversion connotes not simply mastery but a devilish desire to conceal. Why share secrets when you have the upper hand?
My wife’s grandmother, Mamoo, was such a cook. Sweet and demure, a true Southern lady, she could never repeat her recipes when asked or admit to ingredients each family member knew was in the mix. I offer into evidence her Hoe Cake (having nothing to do with johnnycakes or slang) recipe, a delicious blend of whole wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, salt, oil and milk, proportions suggested, mixed, patted into shape or rolled (a little), baked, biscuit sliced and buttered while hot. Mmm, Mmm, them hoe cakes are good eatin’ (even better toasted), trust me, they have graced my taste buds.
Following is not a Southern trait, and for that matter, it’s not a human one either. We like to go our way, carve a path, forge a trail or any other cliché appropriate to describe a species who tolerates rules but does not like them.
Are you willing to go where God is leading you? Are you listening to Him? These are the questions I continue to ask myself. The reality convicts me. Too many myriad ways do I resist Him manifest through subtlety and intention. Too easily do I respond by saying, “Wait a minute, you want me to do what? You want me to go where? Uh, no thank you, I’m just fine where I am doing what I’m doing. Why don’t you get old Billy to do it. He’s better suited, and besides, my calendar is full for the next twenty years.”
Doesn’t God wish to take His children to the same place, to love Him more than their own desires, to believe Him more than their own doubt, to receive Him with an undivided heart? But first, to go where God leads, to follow Him, His children must offer as the Psalmist says the sacrifices of a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. And so offered through life’s oven, knowing God, being known by God, the knowing revealed by abiding in Him prepares His children to go where He leads. True men of God recognize His presence, His working in this world, His living amongst us and live in His peace. God’s truth binds us to Him like a good recipe.
Time exhausts much of life. But life cannot exhaust God, His love for us, His desire for us to be bound to Him, to follow Him. And once bound, following becomes more desirous than our wish not to.
You don’t need a recipe for that.
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).