Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Right Balance

I just finished baking a dump cake about an hour ago. I know, I know. That doesn't sound very inviting unless you already know what a dump cake is. Don't let the name fool you. It is really good. A good friend of mine posted this recipe on Facebook a couple weeks ago. A little bit of this. A little bit of that. A lot of something else. Mix it up and bake it. So very easy, not to mention delicious.

Rachel's "baking soda cake"
Rachel played the part of an aspiring cook as well. I think she is going to be the kind of cook who likes to create her own innovative dishes rather than strictly follow someone else's recipes. In any case, she had a very definite idea of what she wanted to make. I decided to let her experiment.

She, too, added a little bit of this and a little bit of that. She, too, put a lot of something else into the batter. Unfortunately, one of the things she added in a small amount was sugar. Far worse, the "something else" that she added in a large quantity was baking soda. I didn't realize just how much she had put in until I asked her to pass the baking soda to me so I could add it to my batter. 
"It's all gone," she said. "I used it all."
"You used ALL of it!?!" (There had been about 1/4 cup of baking soda in the container.)
"Uh-huh," Rachel answered as she contentedly used a teaspoon to measure out the flour.
Needless to say, I used this teachable moment to share with her which ingredients get measured by the cupfuls and which baking soda...get measured with a teaspoon.

Rachel was far enough along with her batter that I let her finish up and bake it, even though I knew the result would not be what she hoped for. Before popping it in the oven, we added more sugar and some cinnamon in an attempt to doctor it up a bit. 

I must say that her cake looks good. It rose nicely. It seems to have a pretty good texture. But the TASTE! Um...I don't think either of us will be eating much of it.

The problem, of course, is that she did not use the right balance of ingredients in her cake. She used too much of something that should have been added in small amounts, and not enough of an ingredient that should have been added in a larger quantity. Her balance was off, and it had a negative effect on the outcome.

We need balance in our lives, too. How are we doing with that? Many "ingredients" make up our lives.
  • Work, play, rest
  • Time with family, time with friends, time with God
  • Church commitments, social commitments, service commitments
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Yard work and maintenance
  • Social networking, blogging, other computer-related activities
  • Music and reading 
  • Sports and fitness
  • TV and games
  • The list goes on
Which of these "ingredients" should rightfully be added in small amounts, like baking soda? Which, like sugar, should get a more generous portion in the recipe? Which are essential? Which are optional? What is the right balance?

A life out-of-balance is not enjoyed by anyone. Not the person living it. Not the people who are impacted by the imbalance. This kind of life may look good to those who don't get too close. To those who interact with it every day, however, it is a bitter experience.

A life in balance is a life that can be enjoyed. The person living such a life enjoys a life of peace. Others enjoy being around a person who lives a balanced life. It is attractive. It is delicious (so to speak).  It is a sweet experience.

I wonder...what kind of a life do I live? Is it a delicious dump cake life or a bitter baking soda cake life?

I know which kind of life I want to live. What about you?

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness... 
Matthew 6:33b (NASB)


  1. Nice metaphorical comparison between life and cooking. Too much of a good thing can destroy a meal, while too much salt can overpower something gourmet. Even adults need to hear these lessons.

    1. It's amazing how real-life events can point out important things. I know I need to keep this whole issue of balance in mind.


Any thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you.

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog