Faith Without Woks Is Not Stir Fry… July 20, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1949)

Chinese wokThey were trying to help.

Keith and Ruth Ann thought it would be good to offer assistance to Dollie and I since we were only twenty years old, just getting started with life in general.

So they bought us a wok. It was the craze of the time.

It was a huge, stainless steel or aluminum bowl that you were supposed to cook vegetables and meat in to concoct a meal.

It came with instructions. Of course, I ignored those because I was already fully intelligent enough at age twenty to comprehend all things, both practical and cerebral.

So the first meal we attempted in the wok burned.

When I explained this to Keith and Ruth Ann, they asked if I had “treated the pan”–per the directions. I had not. It seems that you needed to smear oil on the inside over and over again, until the surface “accepted” this ointment and prepared itself for you to actually cook.

Honestly, I was not pleased to own a neurotic pan. But I smeared my oil and then cooked my second meal. It was horrible.

Why? Not because it burned, but because it was flavorless. When I shared with Keith and Ruth Ann, they laughed. (That’s what experts do when they want to make novices feel like idiots.)

They shared that an adequate amount of seasoning needs to go into the meals, since vegetables and the like don’t provide much taste on their own.

So we tried again–a third meal–adding various seasonings to complement the ingredients. It tasted better, but was not fully cooked.

I once again consulted with my experts on the Chinese cuisine. They were fully sympathetic, and presented that it was necessary to stir the food constantly while it was cooking, so as to get even distribution of the heat, to make the meal of one common texture.

So on my fourth go around, I finally cooked a meal in my wok that was edible.

The reason I share this story with you is that tomorrow I am heading off to share at Faith Lutheran Church in Dodge Center, Minnesota.

It is nothing but a stainless steel wok. But since I had that experience with Keith and Ruth Ann’s gift, I know what to do:

  1. First, I will bring the oil of gladness. Nothing in the human experience that proposes human fellowship is of any value if it doesn’t bring joy.
  2. Then I will pour in the right ingredients–healthy things that when mixed together, look like they’re fun to receive in your being.
  3. How about adding seasoning? Salty ideas and music peppered with emotion.
  4. And finally, praise God–stir it up! If you plan on leaving people the way you found them, you have no business being a spiritual chef.

So that’s my plan.Dodge Center Faith Lutheran

Faith Lutheran without woks is not stir fry. That I can tell you for sure.

So even though I was not particularly grateful for my gift from Keith and Ruth Ann, and ended up only using it a fifth time after my success on the fourth attempt, I learned that it’s not about simply having a pan … it’s knowing how to apply the heat.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Fallen… February 21, 2013

(1,798)

helpHe crawled to my door, recently cast to earth by that which he considered to be god-like. He was a discombobulated mutation of the Gingerbread Man, Humpty Dumpty and a misfit toy. After twenty plus years of marriage, three children, late notices on bills, burned meat loaf and too few kisses, he found himself alone–abandoned by the other human soul who had promised to remain forever.

He was suddenly surrounded by ants, worms, dirt and spit-out gum. Like the ant, he was scurrying around to rediscover the picnic. As the worm, he was flat on his belly, sucking up the soil–and he was discarded, flavorless.

He and she were no longer we.

He was alone for the first time in over two decades and had no idea what to do. I am not so sure why he decided to seek me out. But years of handling such visitations have taught me the rules of operation: never bring an opinion–just a cup of coffee “to go” and two ears “to stay.”

He sat on the floor so as not to allow himself any further descent–and uttered the typical words: How could she do that? What did I do wrong? What are people going to think? What am I going to do now?

Even though these might sound like questions, they really aren’t. They are screams into the darkness, pleading for response but never remaining for an answer. It is important to remember that two words are absolutely forbidden during these excursions into the dark night of bewilderment: “God” and “the future.” Both of them seem too mean, too forbidding, too misunderstood and too impotent.

He is hurt. He presently does not possess faith, but is rather possessed by a smothering faithlessness. He doesn’t need quotations and does not require counsel. He doesn’t even really appreciate a flick of my eyebrow or an ill-placed, “I see.”

He is fallen. He will never rise again if he is not allowed to savor the moments of self-pity that generate the revelation of the true value of existing blessing.

We spend too much time criticizing those who have already been criticized. We are too eager to throw stones at those who have already been stoned. We sit in judgment over those who are precariously doomed to execution.

We lack the sensibility to remember what it is like to be fallen when we are standing on our own two feet, peering down at the hapless victim.

He will have better days. He may reconcile with his former love or he may not. But this is not a sickness unto death. Recuperation, however, demands that we allow people to crawl before they walk, and stroll before they run.

Sometimes “fallen” is the only way we actually become grounded.

Because dirt is closer to the earth–and the earth is our residence.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: