Have a Little Honey, Honey
Proverbs 24:13-14: “Eat honey, my child, for it is good,And honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.Likewise, know that wisdom is sweet to your soul;If you find it, you will have a future,and your hope will not be cut off. (NET)
As a child, my favorite sandwich was a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Honey, to my mind, was better even than the classic peanut butter and jelly. Children growing up in biblical times never had a taste of peanut butter, (Peanuts are a New World crop.) but honey was a welcome treat. This proverb is one of the thirty Sayings of the Wise in Proverbs 22:17-24:22. The Wise remind us that we should seek after and devour wisdom just as believers then sought and devoured honey when it was found.
Children must be trained to seek wisdom. Anyone who has watched children for longer than 15 seconds knows that they must be trained to seek wisdom. But before we can train children to seek wisdom, Wisdom-seeking must be part of our lives. Moreover, the process of seeking wisdom is life-long, but it is an imperative process for our spiritual growth. I was reminded of this during an impromptu cookie baking session a few days ago.
A few days ago, I babysat a girl and her school-age friend; the girl eagerly asked me if they could make peanut butter cookies, assured me that she knew how to make the cookies and they would do all the dough preparation and clean-up themselves; they merely needed my presence to be able to use the oven. I agreed that we could make cookies.
Delightedly, she began taking ingredients out of cabinets. In a matter of seconds, I noticed something missing. “What recipe are you using?” I inquired when a recipe card, online printout, or cookbook failed to materialize.
“I know how to make them.” She assured me proudly. “I don’t need a recipe.”
I was tempted to take charge at that point as I like to bake and cook “by the book” until I am very comfortable baking something, but I thought that perhaps she *had* learned a simple recipe.
Ten seconds of observation proved me wrong as she scooped three tablespoons of flour into a mixing bowl, followed by at least eight tablespoons of sugar and six of peanut butter. “Umm, I think we need baking soda”. She began as she tapped a tiny bit into the mixture. “Oh, yeah. And an egg. And milk”. One egg was added and a generous amount of milk was poured into the bowl.
“What about butter or margarine?” I asked.
“We need that?” She asked in surprise as she cut off a few pats of butter to toss into the mixture. She continued to add a little bit of flour and more sugar until she was satisfied.
“There. It looks right now.” She beamed. “It just needs food coloring.”
The dough was split in half for both girls to form their cookies, and sprinkling her dough ball with more flour, she began to work it before rolling it out slightly and slicing it with cookie cutters.
I was trying to avoid the impulse to “rescue” the recipe but I knew I should say something at this point. “make sure the dough is not too thick—it won’t bake all the way through—or too thin—it will burn.” I reminded them. With a little trial and error, they got the dough to a reasonable thickness.
“Now for food coloring!” The girls eagerly cried as they liberally began adding color to the cookie dough.
“Hey, my cookie dough is turning black!” One of them objected after adding generous amounts of red, green and blue cookie dough. They soon finished decorating and shaping their cookies.
Since I controlled the oven, I still had the trump card to ensure they honored the cleanup part of the bargain—and I had no qualms about using it! They followed my cleanup instructions with decidedly less enthusiasm, and their parents arrived home a few minutes later, so I am not sure how the cookies turned out.
In reflecting on the experience, I was reminded how eagerly I tell God. “I’ve got this! I can handle this”. I try to prove my independence. And God, in His wisdom, lets me have my way. For much of my life, I have not been skilled in seeking wisdom, but instead have tried to do it “my way”. I have behaved like a little girl who sincerely wants to bake cookies, but still needs guidance and direction to do so well.
Thank God for His chesed! I know I can come to Him every day and repent of my failure to come to Him and to learn from Him, to seek wisdom as eagerly as honey. May we all mature in our walk with the Lord by learning to trade in our blackened peanut butter cookie dough for his fresh, sweet honey.