I’ve always heard that one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. However, due to the fact that I rarely purchase a whole “bunch” of apples, I have yet to experience this phenomenon. (Although I have dealt with this issue in the area of potatoes. One stinky potato can make the whole bunch yucky in a hurry. But I digress.)
I have recently learned (the hard way) that old or spoiled vanilla flavoring is rather, um, “ungoodly” for cooking stuff. I bake on occasion. I don’t bake a lot, only for other people. If I bake for myself, I end up eating whatever tasty, sugary delicacy I make. By myself. Which is really counter productive for my getting-into-shape-running-a-5k-while-enjoying-it mission.
Since I bake so infrequently, it takes me a while to use up baking supplies. In this case: vanilla flavoring. My Mama was in town a couple weeks ago, and we were trying to whip up some cupcakes for my husband’s company of drill sergeants. (It’s a morale booster called Foxtrot Friday.) We thought we would be overachievers and make FILLED cupcakes.
Everything was going great until Mom tried to make the filling… She added the vanilla. And it refused to mix it with the other ingredients. She wrinkled her brow and sniffed the bowl. “Uh, Sharita… How long have you had this vanilla?”
I had no clue. That little container of flavoring had been in my possession for what we in the army family like to call “a hot minute.” As in, I couldn’t remember the last time I bought it. And based on how frequently I use it to bake… Probably a couple of years.
My bad. No wonder my vanilla-flavored protein shakes always tasted so… funky.
Needless to say, we trashed that batch and purchased a brand-spanking new container of vanilla within a few days. I cracked open the seal and it smelled… heavenly. (And like magic, my shakes no longer tasted funky. Who knew, right?)
I couldn’t help but think about how just one tiny amount of an ingredient, aka a teaspoon of spoiled vanilla, can have such a profound impact on my recipe. I thought about how this holds true to our lives.
All it takes is one little “ingredient” in our heart, life or attitude to spoil the whole journey. Seriously, think about it. Consider those days when you are just in a “funk” because one little thing went wrong right when you hopped out of bed. Or if you are annoyed by something exceptionally small. Or you are holding onto a tiny seed of bitterness towards something or someone.
If you don’t ask God to correct the problem ASAP, that “spoiled ingredient” will spread throughout your day… then your week… then your life.
Do you have any parts of your attitude or heart that are spoiled? Have you ever experienced a “bad ingredient” in life? How did you deal with it? How did God help you through it? Be courageous and leave a comment below.
Today, I challenge you to take a good “whiff” of your life… Does it smell spoiled or funky? Or is in fact heavenly and beautiful-smelling? Some people say we need to live “colorful” lives… But in this case, I am all about fresh vanilla-flavored living.
From funky to fresh,
“God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.” –Psalm 145:14 (MSG)