Our thanks to Brendan Armitage for writing this week’s devotion.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”1 John 1:8, NIV
“You’ve got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette”. Perhaps my son Ryan was a bit forceful with the cracking, as his egg kinda exploded into egg shrapnel, resulting in a bit of eggshell (and a bit of the egg frankly) ending up in his bowl. Rather than trying to fish the eggshell out, I recalled my dad’s words to me when I was Ryan’s age (so many years ago), “Keep it. A little eggshell just proves that you used real eggs”.
I guess it was the “Who are you kidding?” look I must have given him, that made him explain that there was a time that people didn’t often have fresh eggs…only powdered eggs. When cooking with fresh eggs, cooks would allow a bit of the eggshell to remain in the omelette, to prove to the customer that they were eating real food. It was the imperfection in the omelette, the eggshell, that authenticated the food being served as real and fresh, and not made in some factory long ago and far away.
In our mass-produced world, we have come to see “home-made” as the ultimate luxury brand, haven’t we? We value the attention and hours of time that your friend put into that loaf of white bread or that your mother-in-law put into knitting that scarf or that washcloth. Flaws in production don’t devalue the item. They enhance it. It’s the flaws that describe the humanity of the exchange. It’s the mistakes that we cherish, that connect us to one another.
While I won’t argue that anyone should purposefully eat eggshells in quantity (basic competence is assumed here), I would seek to persuade that the goal of perfection not only puts us on the level of God and is therefore inherently sinful, it also just misses the point. Simply put, the point is not the relative quality of the object given, it’s the gift of time and attention to someone, that is important. It’s the process, not the end result. Make a good omelette, but focus on the person you’re making the omelette for, not whether it has a little eggshell in it or not.
You could almost say that the eggshell is the secret ingredient in an omelette. It reminds us that we are always unworthy servants of our Lord. Nothing that we do is perfect, but everything we do can be done with intention, with purpose, and with love.
So as you come into the middle of your week that seems like every week in the past and every week going forward in the future, seek to sanctify that which you do, with intention, with purpose, and with love. Allow the eggshell, the imperfection, to refocus your attention on the person you seek to help, not on the thing you’re making. We all know the first part of the Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr, but this week, add the rest of his prayer to your’s. It goes like this,
Living one day at a time ….. Enjoying one moment at a time ….. Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace ….. Taking, as Jesus did ….. This sinful world as it is ….. Not as I would have it ….. Trusting that You will make all things right ….. If I surrender to Your will ….. So that I may be reasonably happy in this life ….. And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
See you (someday) in church.