Everyone needs to eat. As such, people need to cook. When I cook something I "get fed" and I feel good about my cooking. I get new recipes to try them out, discover there are somethings that I like and others that I do not like. I get a measuring cup to ensure I use the right amount of oil, I have an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct and I get a scale to ensure my cakes are not too dense but remain fluffy. I get some books that talk about cooking and begin to work on my knife skills and even master flipping things in a pan. I am able to provide for myself as I cook and I believe that the point of cooking is to provide food.
There are many of us Christians who view the Christian faith in this way. We go to church and Sunday school. We read some books and drop an occasional prayer at Thanksgiving or during a crisis. We believe that the point of doing these things is to be "fed". When worship does not "feed us" we do not attend. When Sunday school is not "nourishing" we bail. When the church does not give me the "recipes" for living a good life or when the "recipes" that are heard do not work - we think church is point less. When the church no longer meets my "needs" I find it difficult to lift my head off the pillow on Sunday morning. For many of us, the point of Christianity is to be fed and feed others. Why else would you go though all those spiritual disciplines if you do not "get something out of them"?
I am not sure if the point of Christianity is to be "fed". I am not sure the point of Christianity is to learn how to live life in such a way that we get our needs met. I am not sure the point of Christianity is to learn how to cook.
I wonder if the point of Christianity is to learn to be a chef.
It is foundational for all chefs to learn to cook, but not all cooks are chefs.
The point of many chefs is not just to be fed, but rather to bring new and beautiful and tasty things into existence. The chef is aware that the creation is not something that she did on her own, the chef is aware of the dependence upon others we all share. She did not grow the food or water it or even harvest it. She did not process or even deliver the food. The chef however, did co-create something wonderful and appetizing that only existed in part before she worked her "chef magic".
Chefs cook with trust and faith and failure and hope and anticipation and guts in order to bring something of beauty into the world.
Cooks just make food.
Christians are those who strive to be chefs and will not settle for cooking. And there are many people in the world who are wonderful chefs, who do not take the name Christian.
The call for Christians is to stop looking to be fed by being a "cooking Christian". Rather, create something beautiful, enliven the world with textures, infuse flavors in your relationships.
For goodness sake, be a chef and you will be fed.