Master Chef

My father was a master chef, even though he made noodles, tomato soup, and Malt-o-Meal. Even today, years after his death, the world is still tasting the results of his recipes.

No, not the noodles and tomato soup and Malt-o-Meal. Those were good, but only to a seven-year-old daddy’s girl. The kind of recipes I’m talking about were recipes made over thirty years of quiet, but very intense, love. Ingredient by ingredient, my father stirred together moments that effect the world even today. My father was a master chef.

This is about what I learned from my father, the master chef.

A master chef is patient. Nearly every chef has had the experience of making something delicious, only to find that an ignorant taster thinks it’s just “okay” or doesn’t even like it. A master chef has to be patient. He has to recognize that the taster may have to acquire taste-buds, and that acquiring tastebuds can take a long time. He has to believe in the taster, educate the taster, and keep encouraging the taster to stretch her palette.

My father was very patient with me. Even though I was about as spiritually developed as a can of spam, he encouraged and prayed for filet mignon spirituality. He didn’t see the result of his hard work, but, several years after his death, I began to trust in Christ with the flavorful depth he was hoping I would.

A master chef is precise. He plans carefully for his meal. Every ingredient is there for a reason, each quantity deliberate. A master chef doesn’t guess; he knows.

My father planned carefully for his eternity. He crafted his life around Christ, and the inner-workings of his days reflected that. His job as a computer programmer served missionaries and clergy. His unglamorous willingness to do laundry, dishes, and vacuum encouraged me to see the same sort of servant-heart for a husband. His quiet visits to the elderly made him a star in their books. He lived his life by the blueprint of God’s Word.

A master chef is consistent. He doesn’t produce a masterpiece one night and a flop the next. Although it may appear effortless to his customers, a master chef works tirelessly to ensure each meal is like the previous in quality and regularity.

Probably my father’s greatest likeness to a master chef was his consistency. Day after day after day after day, he served at work, at home, and through our church. My father was reliable and trustworthy. He could be depended on to serve even when he was tired or it was raining or cold or dark. My father cared a great deal more about people than he cared about circumstances that might prevent him from helping them.

The noodles, tomato soup, and Malt-O-Meal all had their place in a young girl’s heart. But the legacy of love my father left was the greatest masterpiece of all. His commitment (patience), passion (precision), and integrity (consistency) in His walk with Christ can’t really be explained by the metaphor I’ve chosen of a master chef. The only way to really know what my father is like is to taste the recipes he left behind.

. . no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:11b-14, ESV)

Published in: on March 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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