Missing Ingredients

Missing Ingredients

pancakesIf you are anything like me, your favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I love breakfast. More importantly, I love pancakes and bacon. In my humble opinion, you can’t beat this combo of awesomeness. Now, there is something that my family does that may make you freak out, but we love to do breakfast for dinner. We call it, “breakner.” Just kidding, we aren’t that weird. Usually when this blessedness happens in our family, I’m on deck to cook for the night and that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago.

Now, you might be thinking that all I do is pull out a box of pancake mix and go to town, but you would be wrong folks. Not trying to judge anyone but, pancake mix in the box is for the weak; man up fellow husbands! Anyway, I enjoy mixing everything from scratch, and that’s how my wife told me I ‘should’ do it. So, I went to town mixing everything together. I was proud to have accomplished this task while my kiddos had several meltdowns, fights, time outs, and plenty of spilled drinks to clean up. In the midst of the chaos, I completed my task, delivered our breakfast for dinner meal, and felt pretty proud of myself. We all sat down and started to enjoy this blessedness, when our oldest says:

Asher: “Dad, something is off with these pancakes.”
Me: “Asher, stop it! There is nothing wrong with these cakes and there are kids all around the world that would love to eat what you have sitting before you.”
Asher: “No Dad, they taste different than usual.”
Me: “Let me take a bite of mine and see what all the fuss is about….Oh buddy! These do seem a little off, don’t they? Sorry bud, you were right.”

There I was eating a pancake that was not measuring up to the normal deliciousness I am accustomed to, and I realized what had happened. I MISSED AN INGREDIENT! After pondering a while, it dawned on me what I had missed, vegetable oil. I wouldn’t have thought that missing this small, seemingly insignificant ingredient, would have impacted my pancakes so terribly, but it did. It left them flat, dry, and kind of ‘blah.’

This is life though, isn’t it? There are days we can be walking around feeling so ‘blah’ and we really don’t even know why we feel the way we do. Some days we wake up feeling this way, others, as we begin the day working at home or the office. Either way, it usually comes at one point or another. What I think we are all feeling in these moments are the missing ingredients in our lives. We are missing out on something, and it is impacting us in ways we would have never thought. I would like to propose three things that could be your missing ingredients. These are by no means the only potential missing ingredients in life, but they are the ones I have personally found to be my top three.

Time with Family – I have found that when I get busy, rushed or distracted by life, my time with the people I love the most in this entire world gets hit the hardest. There are plenty of good reasons for why I have less time to spend with them at times, but it usually ends up hurting me and them in the end. We all feel like something is missing and it causes everything to get out of whack. I must continually remind myself that if I don’t take the time to play with the kids and act crazy with them, I am going to be missing something in my life. The same goes with spending time with my wife. We need that time to sit together, talk and veg out so that life doesn’t seem so BLAH.

coffee and bibleTime with God – I know this is such a church answer, but be that as it may, it’s still a missing ingredient, and an important one at that. We all need time with God. Whether it’s for 5 minutes or 30, we need time with him. For me, it’s all about remembering all that God does and continues to do for myself, family and the community at large. I need God to challenge me to be a better husband, father, co-worker and human being. This only happens if I take the time and spend it with Him. If I choose to get too busy or distracted by life, this time will suffer and unfortunately life will start to feel like something is missing.

Time with me – This sounds funny, but it’s about me, myself and I. This is about having something in your life that’s just for you. You need to give yourself permission for some “me time.” My “me time” is working out in the morning or reading and drinking coffee before anyone else wakes up. I need this. I am a better husband, father and co-worker when I have this time. If I fail at giving myself this time, I will feel it, and everyone else around will feel that something is “missing.”

Are you anything like me? Do you love breakfast for dinner? Just kidding, that’s not really the question I want you to be thinking about. What are your missing ingredients in life? When you start to feel ‘blah’ and something is missing what are you going to do about it? Sadly, too many people simply fill their life with distractions and busyness and never really do anything about it. Don’t be like most people. Be different. Never settle for the ‘blah pancakes’ of life. Discover what you are missing and get it back in your life. Don’t let the busyness or distractions of life get in the way of what God wants for your life.

~Submitted by Andy Mannes, Student Ministry Director