The Messy Frying Pan

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“And that in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8: 15 ASV

A messy frying pan sat on my counter last night with water soaking in it. After dropping the morning carpool off to school, I took a little dish soap, a wash cloth and wiped free last night’s debris. That’s not normally how I do things. I tend to scrub the pans right after dinner, sometimes too hard forcing the stuck food free and occasionally damaging the pan. So this morning I asked myself why? Why do I make things harder than they need to be?

Last night’s dinner was supposed to be Cuban fried chicken, topped with avocado and served with cumin brown rice.  It was the first time I’d fried chicken (ever!) And it was a disaster. The problem was my impatience. I wasn’t patient with getting the chicken thawed all the way through and then I wasn’t patient with cooking it. So every time I checked on my chicken there was a raw portion in the middle even with some burn on the bottom. Since I was pressed for time with my child’s music lesson, dinner was served in courses. We ate our complementing side, cumin brown rice with the avocado (the chicken’s topping), first. Then the chicken, second, when it finally cooked through, (which we devoured quickly).

Truth be known, we completed the task of eating dinner together, but it was a little messy. If I had taken the time to thaw the chicken correctly and follow cooking instructions, dinner would have been much smoother. Thankfully I did this with the dishes. Usually, I want all the dishes washed and put away. But the pan was really bad last night with fry gunk. So I let it soak. This morning, cleaning was a breeze.

Life is a lot like cooking and cleaning. I often know how I’m supposed to handle a situation. I feel God speak to my heart, “No, Kysia. Wait for me to take care of this.” Instead, I rush through handling it myself. For example, yesterday I did this. One of my loved ones had a hurt and getting emotionally caught up, I tried to fix it. It wasn’t even my place to take action and I knew it. God had placed that truth on my heart (even with scripture on prayer! Ugh! (Luke 18:1-8)) My place was to pray for my loved one and let them learn to handle their problem with God’s help. But I stepped in. By then end of the day, I had included people that didn’t even need to be included in a conversation that wasn’t even my business. All because I wanted to “fix it on my own.” Sounds like a three year old. Doesn’t it? “I want to do this by myself!”

When washing the dishes this morning, though, I was reminded of God’s grace. After soaking all night, the hard crusty gunk that wouldn’t come off my pan last night just washed off. No scrubbing or hard work at all. I wondered to myself, “How would yesterday have been, if I had just left my loved one’s issue soaking in waters of God’s grace covered with prayer for the day?” “What would it have looked like if I had trusted God not only with my loved one, but also everyone else involved with this situation?  I’m not sure; God’s view of this problem held a wiser scope than I could ever envision.  Practicing prayer for that wisdom and guidance over my loved one would have been a more faithful option; plus, I wouldn’t have felt guilty at the end of the day having to apologize for butting into their business. Impatience led me down a wrong path.

I have left problems in God’s hands. In fact, the outcome has usually been amazing when I have trusted God to take care of issues instead of impatiently moving forward. Like when I was wondering how to use my gifts to help others. Instead of randomly volunteering at a place that could use my gifts, but I didn’t truly care anything about- forcing something to work, I prayed about it. Waited a bit. Then my husband texted from work one afternoon about an amazing project that needed an artist for an organization we both believe in and support. It was a perfect fit. It wasn’t even a long term commitment, that I wouldn’t have been able keep. God had the details worked out ahead of time. There weren’t even any messes with it at all. No dirty dishes. (Ok, maybe dirty paint brushes- but I didn’t mind cleaning those.)

Crazy how dirty dishes can teach me something about patience. Drying off the pan, I smiled to myself, thankful for the moment to learn. Also, as I put the pan up, I was happy to close the cabinet door on that messy lesson.

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