35@35 #19: Crockpots and Microwaves

crockpotTC’s Principles and Guidelines for Life #19: “God works more like a crockpot than a microwave.” I actually wrote a blog post on this one several years ago, and it became one of my own personal proverbs out of that process.

The bottom line is that we live in a day, age and society that often wants all of the rewards and none of the hard work.

If you want proof, just watch commercials on late night or mid-day TV.

We want to lose weight, so we want to buy a pill that will make it happen automatically, because dieting sucks.

We want money, so we need to hire a lawyer and take somebody else's money.

We want a more organized closet so instead of cleaning it out, we should buy vacuum sealing bags so we can fit more stuff in. Seriously.

I decided recently that I needed to eat a bit healthier. Eating healthier always seems like a good idea until the moment I have to put carrots into my shopping cart instead of potato chips.

Because it isn't easy. It takes work. I want to be healthy, but still eat all the junk food I want.

I think we can often treat our journey of faith, or just life in general this way.

We want all the benefits, and none of the hard work.

Maybe Jesus totally understands this, and that's why he said "If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine." (Luke 10:38)

God isn't fairy dust or magic potion or a get rich quick scheme.

A life of following Jesus is going to be an always developing journey. He won't 'fix' us when we open our heart to him. Instead, he will come in and live with us.

We don't become a ventriloquist puppet for God. We open ourselves to the maker of the universe who makes us spiritually alive, then he helps us to spread that life through the rest of who we are.

But he doesn't force it to happen. And he won't snap his fingers and remove the selfish urges and desires that live within us.

Over time, he'll work with us and in us to create a masterpiece. Adding spices here, stirring the pot there, putting in new ingredients when the time is right, letting heat and time do their work.

If we want to be fully and masterfully prepared, we must keep in mind that he is a patient chef. He uses ways that create richness, not salty, overheated garbage. God loves us too much to treat us that way.

But will we allow him to finish his work? That's the question we all have to face, especially when the process seems to be stretching out for an eternity.

Just because the chef doesn't seem to be constantly working on the dish in the crockpot doesn't mean he's making any mistakes.

Our job is simply to cooperate as much as possible, and not to give up.

Patience, after all, is one of the things he wants to instill in us.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23, emphasis mine)


35@35 is a blog series by Thomas Christianson which involves 35 blog posts in 2014 on 35 things he has learned at the age of 35.