It was a bright, sunny
morning in mid May. Kelley jumped out of bed in excitement. Today was Mother’s
Day, and she had big plans! Aha! She was very pleased to find, as she had
hoped, that no one else in the family was up yet. “I must get to work right
away, before they get up,” thought Kelley, entering the kitchen and reaching
for her very own cookbook.
By now, you have probably
guessed what Kelley was planning that morning. Her “big plan” was to make
breakfast for her Mom. Now, she really did not know how to cook, but she was
full of enthusiasm, and was sure she could handle it very well.
After looking through the
cookbook for several minutes, Kelley paused at a recipe for banana cake. “That
will be good,” she thought, “and I think it is easy enough for me.” Kelley was
imagining how happy Mom would be to wake up and find breakfast all ready, when
she realized she had one slight problem—there were no bananas in the house.
Most people would consider that a big problem, but not Kelley. It was
true that she did not have any bananas, but then again, there were plenty of
strawberries to take their place. “Yes,” she decided, “strawberries will do
just fine.” She began rounding up all the other ingredients she would need.
Things seemed to be going
pretty well, or so Kelley thought, as she stirred together the first few
ingredients in her so-called banana cake. However, she soon ran into a nasty
difficulty. Kelley had not checked before she began, to see how much honey she
had, and now, though she searched high and low, she could not find enough honey
for her cake. After scanning the cupboards for quite a while, she mulled over
her dilemma. Since she had already begun to mix some of the items together, she
to continue, but not having honey was a little disturbing. There was no use
panicking, though—she would just have to use molasses instead. “This isn’t
turning out quite like it was supposed to,” she mused, as she poured the runny
black liquid into the bowl, “but it will have to do, and I am sure it will be
Trying to be creative, (and
perhaps atone for her substitution) Kelley decided to put some almonds in, and
so she dumped a sizable portion of whole almonds into the mixture, never
thinking to chop them up! She was soon finished with the concoction, and put it
in a pan and baked it.
When Mom came out of her
bedroom, she was as surprised as Kelley thought she would be—but sounded a
little uncertain as she looked at the dark “cake” and asked what it was. “Oh,
it is banana cake,” Kelley explained, “except, we did not have any bananas, so
I used strawberries instead.”
I am sure Kelley’s Mom had
some doubts about eating it, but what could she do? “Thank you.” She tried to
sound cheerful as she choked down the awful tasting “banana cake.” Yes, even
Kelley noticed that something was wrong. It did not taste very good, and the
whole almonds were hard to chew. “What went wrong?” Kelley wondered. She
concluded that maybe strawberries and molasses did not work well together after
Kelley’s “big plan” for
Mother’s Day turned out to be a flop. Worse yet, after her unpleasant breakfast
was eaten, Kelley ran outside to play—leaving her Mom with a stomachache and a
stack of dirty dishes to wash. Was that very thoughtful of her?
Kelley had learned several
important lessons that day. Can you think of any? First of all, we should all
be more thoughtful about how we help our parents. Our big plans and good
intentions are not worth nearly as much as a cheerful heart while doing the
little things that we know how to do.
There is an even deeper
lesson hidden in this story. Just as Kelley decided that strawberries would
work in place of bananas, and molasses in place of honey, so we sometimes think
that we can substitute our own ways for God’s ways. The Bible gives us very
specific instructions on how we should live, and yet so often, we find
ourselves thinking, “Oh, this is just a small thing. It does not really matter
to God.” But if God says in His Word that it matters, then it does
matter. We must follow His directions. If we do not, we will not be real
Christians any more than Kelley’s little experiment was a real banana cake! Let
us all try to learn from God’s direction Book every day, and live by it.