Obvious Saints

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to cook. Of course, I
already was able to warm up canned food (or leftovers), fry up ground beef (or
something similar), assemble various dishes, and bake things that came with
instructions on the package. But I reached the realization—and this is simply my own
expectation of myself—that I was not really “cooking.” I was just assembling and
(re)heating, if that makes sense. Something in me wanted to create, however. I
desired to actually produce something that I could call my own. I wanted to invent,
and I wanted what I invented to be more than just “edible.” I decided to start by
making spaghetti sauce. Thus, I scoured the internet, comparing assorted recipes so
as to better understand what are the fundamental ingredients in Italian marinara-type
sauces (in addition, I frequently referred to one of my favorite books, “The Flavor
Bible,” which is an indispensable resource for the home cook, in my opinion).
Ultimately, I came up with my own version of spaghetti sauce, which I still tweak
each time I make it. Luckily, no one has yet gotten sick from it. What started with
spaghetti sauce has become something of a passion for me.
What I have learned is that I love to cook. Flitting around the house with
various things going on simultaneously—a main, some sides, sautéing this,
chopping that, prepping the smoker or grill, checking the meat, adding this or that
spice for just the right flavor, etc.—is incredibly satisfying to me. Also, I enjoy the
planning element of cooking, which can be quite complicated, at least on occasion.
Working out how to ensure that everything is ready at (or near) the same time, just in
time for the family to sit down and eat, is its own art. I have mentioned this to Stacy
several times over the years: I find great peace in cooking. For me, it is an amazing
stress reliever. I simply love it. Cooking has become, in a sense, an expression of
who I am.
What we love communicates to the world who we are. It tells the world what
is important to us. It reveals to those around us a portion of our character, and it
highlights the priorities that we have set in our lives. A wise person once said that if
we want to know what are the main concerns for a person, we need only to look at
their checkbook and their calendar. We spend time and money on what we love.
What we love is an expression of who we are.
Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “And may the Lord make you
increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he
may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the
coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1 Thess. 3:12-13). Our love for one
another, “and for all,” offers a glimpse into who we are. According to Paul, the love of
Jesus that we share with and extend to other people is a manifestation of our
holiness. In our compassionate concern for others, Christ is honored, and we are
presented as God’s holy people. We are therefore to express to the world and to one
another the love of Christ, in order that God “may establish [our] hearts blameless in
holiness” in his presence. –Ricky

Share This