Pondering today on the process.
We’ve often heard things like, “I’m a work in progress” or “Be patient, God’s not finished with me yet”.
I’ve been working all week on growing a natural yeast starter for my homemade bread. I’ve had to feed and monitor my starter continuously and I’ve learned way more about the science of yeast than I care to know. While diligently going through the “process” of growing the yeast…I began to ponder.
There was a beginning to my natural yeast growing process. The beginning was full of questions like, “Am I doing this right?”, “This doesn’t look like I thought it would” and “So what now?”. I think those are some of the same questions we ask ourselves when we embark on this process of “discovering God”. We have way more questions than answers and most of the time we wonder if we are doing it right. We are what they like to call, “spiritual babies”.
A few days into my yeast growing process, I had some setbacks, was pretty sure I was going to have to start over and really wanted to take the easy way out and go buy some processed, store bought yeast. Our journey, or process of discovering God, can feel the same way. We may fall short of “being a good Christian” or we may decide it is too hard to live up to these expectations we and others have put on us. We may feel like we will never get it right and we just quit. Challenges of life come along and we think to ourselves, “this isn’t working”. This is often referred to in religious circles as “spiritual backsliding” but it’s really a performance treadmill we were never meant to get on.
Four days into the process of growing my natural wheat yeast starter, I tried to use it to make a loaf of bread. It tasted ok but the texture and consistency was all wrong. It didn’t look like it was supposed to. It didn’t look like everyone else’s that were “experts”. How often do we compare our journey or our process with those around us? How often do we compare our “spiritual maturity” with others?
Six days into the process of growing my natural wheat yeast starter and I am so excited! I woke up this morning to a jar of beautifully bubbly yeast starter! It doubled in size while I was sleeping! We are finally ready to make some bread that not only taste delicious, but has a desirable consistency. The funny thing is…I feel like this is where I am personally in the process. I’ve learned to rest and let go of trying to “be” something. I fought the process for so long but now I embrace it. I don’t have to know all the answers anymore and as a matter of fact…the mystery is exciting! It’s like the yeast, I’m filled with life and it just oozes out without effort. God is living in me. He is doing the work of giving life. I “knew” that in my mind for a long time, I could quote the verses and I even had experiences that confirmed it …BUT it was still about me and my effort to be “like Him”.
Looking to the future, I hope to report that I finally have a loaf of delicious bread! I may be tempted to say things like “I stuck it out”, “I fought the good fight”, “I finished the race”. I may be feeling pretty proud of myself, a little cocky, and all together full of myself. “I did it!” Sound like some “Christians” you know? Well, I used to be one of those “spirituality arrogant” people. I thought I had finally done enough of the requirements, finally learned the “right” way of thinking and speaking to get closer to God and silence the enemy, I knew the scriptures inside and out, I taught classes, led the prayer team…I had “arrived”.
So what did I learn in the “process” of making my natural yeast? Well, I learned that “I” didn’t make anything. A natural process occurred between wheat flour and water. I learned that this process has been going on since the beginning of time and I just finally joined in on it. I learned that each step of the process was important. I learned that a lot of things were going on inside that mason jar that I didn’t understand or see. I learned that the process is actually fun and each step is really cool.
And that’s not the end! I get to feed my yeast everyday to keep it healthy and thriving. And that’s how it is with our spiritual journey. We don’t arrive at an end. We are continually growing, changing, learning, unlearning. The process is ongoing and the results are beautiful.
My friends, enjoy the process. It’s not a process of becoming something…it’s a process of discovering… who you really are and who He is that lives in you. You may not care about yeast, you may be learning a little about yeast, you may be trying to be perfect yeast, you may have given up on yeast, you may think you are an expert on yeast…it doesn’t matter where you are, because yeast “is what it is”, no matter where you are in the discovery process. God has always been, still is and will always be “God”. It is our JOY to discover His unconditional LOVE and then it is our DELIGHT to feel His LIFE bubble up inside of us!
Happy Sunday my dearly loved friends!