My wife loves to watch the Food Network. Since I love my wife I get to watch it too. After having seen several hours of cooking shows I am convinced that they are selling lies. Well, maybe not lies but rather only half of the truth.
Almost all cooking shows lead you to believe that you can become a great chef in half an hour. In reality the hard work of great food is a much longer process. For example, my wife once saw a recipe while we lived in Alaska that required vanilla beans. We searched every local market and found that they do not even sell them where we live. When we finally did find them at a store a long distance away we found the price to be outrageous. Great food requires you to have a good source of food. That alone can take hours of shopping and create a large expense.
The second problem that I see on TV is that the lady on the show walks to the refrigerator where everything is clean, cut, measured and ready to cook. Anyone who has worked in the kitchen knows that it takes far more time to do food prep than to actually cook. For example, I love to fry fresh fish that I catch. I know it will take me an hour of prep time to cook a single plate of fish.
Finally comes the clean up. Has anyone ever seen a TV cook actually scrub and wash dishes? It will sometimes take us longer to clean up after a meal than it did to cook and eat it.
For anyone who lives in the real world the cooking shows on TV are less than half truth.
My fear is that the Church can come off the same way. We have our hour of worship on Sunday. In that time the preacher gives us a 30 minute sermon and makes the Christian life sound so easy. We meet people who seem to have it altogether and they make everything look so easy. Honestly, the reality is far from what we see on Sunday morning.
To have a living, growing and fruitful spiritual life you are required to spend hours studying, reading, praying, meditating and fellowshipping. The hard work behind the scenes is what will make everything work. The daily grind of the spiritual disciplines are the key to a great life. The weekly commitment to worship and instruction are the vital prep work to a Christian life. The clean up of pouring out our heart in forgiveness and love after making mistakes is what makes us into better people.
A wonderful life of faith may look easy on Sunday but it is really the result of a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Each day I might want to take a shortcut and buy a prepackaged meal, but it will just not taste the same as a quality made product. Something that is easy to make and something that are high quality are rarely synonymous.