I am the most extreme example of a novice bread-maker. Maybe novice is not quite the right word. I try again and again, each time creating something even hungry birds and squirrels find completely inedible. It's odd, really, considering most of the time I work in the kitchen I can come up with something pretty decent. I have read about bread, how long to knead, how to tell when kneading is over, how much flour is too much, proof the yeast or don't proof the yeast.
When you get down to it, bread is flour and water. That's all. Yeast makes it puffy, sugar makes the yeast happy, salt makes the yeast stop being happy. Bread is so basic, and yet what I make doesn't even register on the Bread Radar.
So today, as I was trying again, I was thinking about all this, how my making was so pathetic, and how it seems so difficult. My thoughts drifted to the ingredients, how I have my flour, yeast, sugar and water set out before me, and even with the right stuff and the right formula (at least I am trusting that The Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking won't let me down) I continue to fail. Then, being the Person I Am, I started to think about my life, and how I have all my ingredients set out before me, and I have the Guidebook that has proven successful for generations and generations, and still I continue to fail. I fail when I lose my temper with my children, when being annoyed with The Mister fogs up my perspective, when I decline the opportunity to bite my tongue. I fail when I am so bound by my fear and insecurity that I forget my Life Ingredients and my Guidebook and change my prayers from "Change how I'm seeing/reacting to this" to a whiny "God, why (hu-waaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiii...you know, Toddler Whining Style)????"
Then I thought of God Himself. Creating the Universe, Master of All, Known and Unknown. No ingredients for Him. He just whipped us up out of Hisveryownself. Creating, not making. Something from nothing, a vast difference from my paradoxical bread: nothing from something. How awe-inspiring, how amazing to be able to create. And since our God is omni-everything, He had to know back at creation's beginning that I would be pondering this today.
So Lord, give me this day my oatmeal-molasses bread. And forgive me my sins, and help me with all of my nothing-somethingness.