Many people that follow me on my social media platforms know me for two things. They know I am in ministry and that I enjoy cooking. Honestly, my cooking displays get more attention than posting about ministry. (Go figure..) My closest friends and family know that cooking is a type of therapy for me. It is the opportunity to work out my creativity, frustrations, and difficulties while focusing on the process of meal preparation. The process is my way making sure I stay accountable to the details. Cooking is not a burden. It is a joy that produces extreme gratification when the meal hits the high notes.
The problem that lies within cooking these days is the idea of the instant. Don’t get me wrong. Every once in a while, we must be grateful that instant and microwave exist for our moving existence. Yet, it is noticeable when one full prepares a meal from a microwave. Advertisers constantly present microwavable options to the masses as a suitable substitute for well prepared, crafted meals. The idea of the tv dinner was to be timely substitution for the meal accompanied by significant kitchen labor. No difference should have existed between the two methods except for time of preparation. The problem is that the desire for home cooked is so great that settling for less is nearly a crime.
The same mentality translates to our society regarding environmental and communal problems. People are constantly looking for information and narrative that have home cooked flavor, but they are settling for microwavable substitutes instead. Social media, the internet, and other resources have a place in the movement of information. They can be very valuable tools in gaining interest and attention on important matters of the day. However, people have become so reliant on their presentations that they no longer take the time to work through information, perspectives, and personal introspection. People arrive at microwaved conclusions and partake in lightly seasoned ideas. It is an amazing phenomenon.
Imagine this. A time existed when young people had to write out/type research paper, go to the library and pick out the references by hand, use 3×5 notecards to itemize bibliographical information on print resources and quotes from the book, place the research paper, bibliography, and notecards together in a folder for turn in order to prove the integrity of their study, research, and work. My generation is probably the last one that dealt with that mandate. The process was to make certain that we did the work necessary to establish our viewpoint and defend our position with credible information that we wrestled with for understanding.
Now, I can go online and know for a fact that their are many people who never had to deal with the rigor at all and it shows. It is like going and seeing someone post their plate of macaroni and cheese on Facebook. You can tell it has elements, but you know that it is Kraft. Ashy macaroni and cheese is evidence that nobody ever taught you how to go through the process of boiling your noodles, shredding your cheese, seasoning your pasta water, etc. Really good macaroni and cheese takes time. Good mac and cheese has evidence that you have taken time with it.
If a lesson is taught from the past year of a pandemic and uprising in the continued pursuit of justice, equality, and equity, we must get back to process and time to produce quality. How do we begin this process? We must enlist three important elements–thought, intelligence, and discernment.
- Thought–We must come back consider how we fuel our thoughts and ideas. Many of the perspective that are presented today are devoid of key ideas of critical thinking. Most people go into subject matter believing that their perspective is the end of the story. The truth is that we are probably in need of reevaluating our ideas regularly. We need to take the time to investigate how good information really is. We need to see if this is prime or processed. Our thoughts are governed by personal leanings. If we are not compelled to examine a whole matter, then we will find ourselves constantly recycling ideas without solid merit or work. When our thoughts are fed properly, we will be able to possess proper lead ins to substantial conversations that will take us beyond argumentative mess.
- Intelligence–We must have a filter that gives us the ability to use our thoughts and information effectively. I recognize that many people are full of information. Yet, they are devoid of the ability to use it to positively influence their environment. Intelligence is not the ability to make others feel small. Intelligence is not the capacity to hold information. Intelligence is the intellectual strategy of making information and work for all who can and will receive it. Whenever we gain information we have to find effective ways for the masses to consume solid, quality meat without skipping steps or trimming for convenience sake. We must present the whole platter where it is accessible, compelling, and intriguing.
- Discernment–Without discernment, all the previous steps become an exercise in futility. We must have the ability to recognize where our skillset, information, and intelligence will be most useful. The Bible teaches us that we must be careful not to cast pearls to the pigs. We must be careful not to give useful knowledge to those who will consume with no plan to enhance their surroundings. Knowledge and information in the right hands will empower the powerless and disenfranchised. It will lift them beyond the elements of today into the prosperity of tomorrow. However, sharing with consumers can cause a burial under the dung heap of denial. We must know our role in the process and execute accordingly. We will continue to perpetuate cycles that can continue to cause harm.
I implore us all to continue to learning the importance of process. Recognize the value in cooking properly in the kitchen, society, and life. It will help you avoid food poisoning that will destroy your life…