I have never been much of a bread eater until I started making my own. Then the truth was revealed. It wasn't that I did not like bread. The fact of the matter is, I'm a bread snob. When this truth was revealed to me last September, I decided to stop buying bread from the grocery store and bake all of our bread instead.
This past week, since I was going to be gone for four days, I decided my husband had enough bread until I returned so I did not bake bread like I usually do. I would make more when I got home. Things were rather hectic yesterday so I put off baking bread until this morning.
Nowadays, I don't do very well with changes in my routine. As a result, I was a bit flustered when I started making bread this morning. When that happens I start getting anxious and that makes things worse. Sigh...
I must do things extremely methodical nowadays and use visual cues lest I forget that I did or did not do something so I line all my ingredients and measuring cups and spoons up very carefully before I cook or bake. I proofed my yeast for 10 minutes before adding the oil, flour and salt I had already measured out. Then I set the dough cycle on my bread machine and did other things until the dough would be ready to punch down in 1 hour and 3 minutes.
When the dough cycle was finished, I opened the lid of the bread machine and gasped. Something did not look right. I placed the dough on the floured board and stared at it. What on earth had I done? My husband came in at that moment and stared at it too.
"Did you measure everything correctly?"
I assured him that I had.
He started to say something about the flour but I snapped back that I had measured out three cups of flour so there must be something wrong with the yeast. I stared at the flat, non-elastic, mass on the counter and sighed. I would have to make a new batch.
I assembled my ingredients once again. Uh-oh. The measuring cups were in the sink so I would have to rinse them out. I set the yeast to proof once again and turned my attention to the measuring cups and spoons. I picked up the one cup measuring cup and then froze. Why were there two dry measuring cups in the sink?
Then I remembered that after measuring out one cup of flour, I decided to use the 1/2 measure and measured out four 1/2 cups. I picked up that cup and froze again. Slowly, it dawned on me what had happened as I realized that the cup in my hand did not measure 1/2 cup. It measured 1/3 cup. Instead of using 3 cups of flour, I had used 2 1/3 cups of flour which was why my dough turned out the way it did. I had used the wrong tool to measure it.
Except for the fact that it is a bit smaller, my 1/2 and 1/3 measuring cups look about the same unless they are side by side. It is only then that you can truly see that they are not the same. If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup and I only add 1/3 cup, it will not come out the way it is supposed to come out. The reverse is also true.
When I was measuring out my flour, I truly believed that I was using the correct measuring tool but my firm belief made absolutely no difference. In fact, it even kept me from checking to make sure that I had the correct measuring cup. In other words, my confidence in my belief kept me from confirming that it was true.
The sad result was that my finished product was not only wrong, it was useless. I had to set about doing it the right way, using the proper measuring tools. As I am writing this, I am munching on a lovely slice of fresh bread topped with butter. Mmm... yummy!
In all honesty, when I made the first batch of bread I believed everything I was doing was right. The problem is, I was wrong. Learning from my mistake, I was much more careful the second time around to ensure that I was using the proper measurement. Spiritually, we can believe we are using the right "measuring tool" all we want and insist that others use it as well but if it is not the proper one, it is not the proper one and the end result will not be right. In fact, it could end up being disastrous and have to be thrown out.
Rather than thinking that we know what we are doing, we need to be willing to seek the wisdom and instruction of the Holy Spirit as we study God's Word. When we do so, we must do one other thing. We must listen.
[quote]In all honesty, when I made the first batch of bread I believed everything I was doing was right. The problem is, I was wrong[/quote] How often have I done this in my christian walk. Doing what I believed to be right and finding out it was wrong because I was using the wrong tool.
And of course we do tend to get snappy when someone suggests we have missed something out.
But how wonderful that the Holy Spirit draws alongside us and teaches us the right way.