BAKING A CAKE
A very ill little boy was telling his Grandma how “everything” was going wrong…school was too hard, family problems other than his illness, his severe pain, just all the hardships he was going through. Meanwhile, Grandma was baking a cake. She asked the child if he would like a snack, and of course he said “yes.”
“Here, have some cooking oil.”
“Yuck,” said the boy.
“How about a couple of raw eggs?”
“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”
“Grandma, those are all yucky!”
To which the Grandma replied: “Yes, Sweetheart, those things seem bad all by themselves. But, when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times, but, God knows that, when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him, and, eventually the yucky stuff will make of our lives something wonderful!”
How many times a day do we sit and complain to others about the messes our lives are? We can always see the negative things that we believe are happening in our lives. We think that everything is in turmoil and we are trying desperately to control everything and make things right again. We don’t want the messy things like oil and raw eggs in our lives. We spend so much time trying to clean up the mess and cook the eggs that sometimes we miss the point.
What if we stopped trying so hard to control everything?
What if we dropped all the ingredients and just said, “God, really I don’t understand what’s going on here. I don’t know what you expect me to do with this mess of ingredients. Help me to understand and to make something out of this.”
Maybe then we would understand that oil and eggs and all the other messy ingredients have something in common, and just maybe with God’s help we can turn these ingredients into something wonderful, beautiful, and useful, like a cake!
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Krystle Powell is a participant in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working as the Jesuit Spiritual Care Associate at Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry in their Spiritual Care department.