We lived in Kansas. The kids were young, but it’s a memory that’s etched in their minds forever. The scenario has played on repeat ever since.
I baked this awesome cake – like, it was the best cake we had EVER had.
The cake was also the ugliest cake we have ever seen.
It was a coffee cake, not the breakfast kind, but a true cake. On top of the yummy coffee cake was a delicious chocolate ganache. The idea was to pour the ganache over the cake, which I did. A lumpy coffee cake with chocolate ganache that poured over it and onto the counter made for a big mess – and a super ugly cake.
We debated on eating it based on its appearance, but figured the pieces of it were yummy so all together it should be yummy too. We were right. The cake was consumed in record time.
Over the years my children have reminded me regularly that when I cook or bake it is not usually the loveliest of creations. They are gracious enough to point out that it usually tastes pretty yummy. I’ve come to the conclusion after really TRYING to make things pretty over the years, that if I had to choose between pretty or yummy at least I landed on the correct side.
Then came the realization that my cooking mimics life. Taste matters.
I would rather not count the number of times over the years I wanted things to look nice, neat, and even lovely from the outside of my life instead of being concerned much more about what might be on the inside. Scripture refers to this multiple times:
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.1 John 2:15-16
The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service—yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote .Isaiah 29:13
The outward appearance and actions are not what truly matters to God. Taste matters.
I can pretend all day long and truly no one would know the difference – but God. That’s where it always ends up.
I can do all the right things and say all the right words, but God knows my mind and heart. He knows what my heart treasures, what I truly love. Isn’t that just what he’s saying in 1 John? What do I love most? Because that is where my treasure can be found (Matthew 6:21), whatever it is that I value most of all.
Ideally, my words and actions are a direct overflow of what is happening in my heart, but we all know that’s not necessarily the case. I know the right words to say and many times the right thing to do so that others will believe that my walk with the Lord is where it is supposed to be. Just like those Israelites, I can get into simply doing the motions and yet my heart is far from him.
As I ponder my cooking today and realize that it’s not always lovely, I pray we will all be reminded that how it looks is never as important as how it tastes. Likewise, our heart attitude is far more important than making sure we check all the boxes.
Hopefully, this has caused you to reflect a bit as well, just like it has me. If we have to choose between being yummy and being pretty, I pray we choose yummy every time. God is not expecting perfection. But just like he cherished David for his heart (1 Samuel 13:14), I pray he will do the same with us, that we will be counted as people with a heart for God, even in the mistakes and bumblings along the way.
How are we pursuing the Lord today? What does our heart look like and are we making that more of a priority that what we look like to the world?
ps. You can also try the cake we made just the other day HERE.