No one will ever eat the rest of these brownies.
When I return to my kitchen to make lunch and clean up, I’ll be scraping the entire rest of this pan into the trash can.
If you share my passion for all things fudgy, you may be feeling a lump in your throat as you imagine such a precious work of culinary genius sliding sadly down into the coffee filters, used Clorox wipes, and empty hot dog packaging.
But your sorrow would be misguided.
Here’s why: These brownies were made with the wrong oil.
Here’s how it went down: Every now and then, Holland delights our entire family by whipping up a batch of cookies or brownies. A few nights ago, she did just that. The house smelled so yummy, and the minute that pan came out of the oven, she pulled one out, poured a glass of milk, and came into the living room.
Me: They’re done?
Her: Yes, but they taste awful. I messed them up somehow.
Me: (“you’re crazy—there’s no way to mess up a brownie mix”): What’s the matter with them?
Her: (wearily) I have no idea.
I didn’t believe her, so I went and cut myself a chunk and popped it into my mouth. Immediately I knew the problem. I walked over to the pantry and looked at the shelf. Yep. Side-by-side were these two bottles. I sighed. It was my fault.
Me: Holland, you used the already-opened bottle of oil, right?
Me: I’m so sorry, honey. I didn’t tell you. That’s my used fry oil.
I used to have a Fry Daddy, which is like a Crock Pot, only for deep-frying things. I simply stored my oil in it and plugged it in when needed. I’d strain it when done and store it for next time. Occasionally I’d change the oil with a fresh bottle. A while back, I threw away the Fry Daddy. Now I fry on my stovetop and strain, store, and re-use the oil a few times before disposing it.
I forgot to tell Holland about it. So she used 1/3 cup of used fry oil in brownies, and they tasted fuuuuuuunky.
When I use that oil later this week to make some fries, wontons, or fish, it will taste deliiiiiiiicious.
What’s the difference? That oil, while it started out just like the other bottle, has been seasoned in a way that doesn’t go with the flavor of brownies. It has had some life experience and earned some flavor that makes it perfect...for a different recipe. When Holland mistakenly used it for a purpose the OTHER oil was suited for, the brownies were edible, but not quite right.
What’s my point? Well, I was thinking. We all start out like clean oil. Fresh and new, ready to be used for whatever our Creator/Chef dreams up. We learn and grow and gain experience and seasoning. Based on our life’s experiences and education and seasons, we become suited for certain things and not-so-suited for others. We get some things so very right and other things so very wrong, and this is all a part of our unique seasoning.
I think the goal is to just be a full bottle of who we’re created to be, and let God decide how to use us. He’s fully informed on where we’ll bring the best flavor. He won’t say, “Oops. I used the wrong oil. Why didn’t somebody tell me what was in there?!” He knows what’s in there already, and He will make sure we blend perfectly into just the right recipes at the right times to make something that people get to experience with delight. And they will complement the Chef.
You might feel like used fry oil that got poured into brownies.
You might feel like that fresh bottle left on the shelf while someone else is getting used.
Or maybe you’re happily bubbling in your perfect pot while friends dance around you like French fries.
Wherever you are in this part of your seasoning, trust the Chef. Don’t look around and compare. Don’t wish your season away. Don’t jump out of whatever recipe He has put you in. And don’t try to jump into a recipe you’re not meant for.
Trust His process, and trust that He’s creating something delicious with your life.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. ~Ephesians 2:10