If you’ve read any of my stuff, at any time, you’ll know I write for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I write to process feelings and thoughts. Sometimes what comes from my computer are words specifically for someone(s) – I may not have my brave pants on to say the words in person, so I send the words out there into cyberspace, wishing and praying for that one specific person/ people to read what I write and be encouraged. At other times I write because I just have to share whatever it is I’ve just discovered, or been taught. And there are times where I write to remind myself to do x,y, or z and to be x, y,z.
The following blog post is a bit of a mixture of all of the above. As always – I’m the first to say I don’t have ‘it altogether’, I’m a massive work in progress, but I’m privy to enough good wisdom around me to know what I should be/ could be/am trying to be doing, and would be doing it all the more, were it not for some of the realities of my life. And so. Here ’tis. Another of my crazy analogies. From the Queen of weird analogies. To you.
One of my jobs is in the field of hospitality/ customer service. We have on the menu, ‘Yorkshire Puddings’. Yorkshires, or ‘yorkies’ as we call them, are very similar to the American ‘Popover’, or ‘Dutch Baby’. Basically they are a batter that has been cooked in muffin trays for individual servings or a larger dish for one big serving, resulting in a puffed up pancake type thing. People eat them as a savoury side dish, with gravy and roast meat and vegetables, and some eat them as a sweet dish with jam or custard.
I can’t eat the yorkies we serve at my work, being the glutard (coeliac) that I am. When they are fresh out of the oven, they always smell really amazing and most nights they fly out of the door. Yorkies have only a few simple ingredients – eggs, flour and milk, and some recipes call for water. These are whisked together, the mixture then rests for a while, before going into a hot oven, in pre-heated oiled muffin trays. They puff up as they cook and when they come out, each yorkie is an individual. No two yorkies look the same.
I was thinking about how fun these little things are. Ridiculously simple too. And I was thinking about every step in the process of making them, and I got stuck on the whole ‘resting’ the batter business.
Apparently it is a big deal with cooking some things. We’re always resting big bits of meat after cooking them. That’s important. And with all batters, resting is also recommended. So I looked into the science behind it. Turns out that during the resting of batters the starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell, giving the batter a more viscous consistency. Air bubbles are also slowly working their way out. The resting step also ensures a thin and uniform structure to the finished good. And, because the gluten in it has had time to relax, the texture is more delicate instead of chewy.
When batter is resting, to the naked eye, nothing is happening.
But important things, good things, are happening to the basic structure, the cell structure of the mix when it is resting.
Because of what happens in the resting phase, the end result after the cooking, is improved.
We all know that rest for US is important. I know it. You know it. But why?
I would say it is because of what is going on, when it looks like nothing is going on.
I think people tend to think of rest for themselves as a lack of activity. Watching tv is resting. Playing on the computer is resting. Flicking through your facebook feed is resting. Napping, sleeping and just sitting. Resting, resting and resting.
Yes. Well maybe.
But there’s more to rest than that I reckon.
To me, resting is the opposite of striving. It is not putting in any effort – a batter doesn’t have to do anything to rest, it just is. The science behind it, does the work. And I think God can do some of His best work in us when we’re resting. When we’re not striving. But we’re simply being. Encouraging soul ties can happen. Strengthening happens. Reassurances. Realignments occur. Necessary corrections are made. These things can happen when we’re at our most relaxed – when we’re not striving. When we’re socializing, but it is with people we can just be ourselves with. When we’re reading and it is simply for enjoyment. We’re studying His word because that feeds us truth and hope. We’re worshiping, and we’re engaging grateful hearts. We’re enjoying His creation. We’re out and about just appreciating the wonderful world we live in. What is restful for you, may not be restful for me – because we’re all uniquely made and we get depleted in different ways and then refreshed in different ways. The ‘how’ isn’t as important as the actual doing.
We need to fill our emotional tanks and our spiritual tanks, in whatever ways work for us, because we’re leaky people and we’re going to come into situations of extreme heat -at some point – but we can come out of those situations better formed. Better transformed. We can have solid cores. We can be a bit more useful, when we’ve had some rest.
We rest, before the pressure is applied.
We rest, because our DNA structure requires it.
We rest, because it is more than just a good idea.
We rest, because of what is happening when it looks like nothing is happening.
We’re now fully in the holy days of Advent. As we go about our days and we’re choosing to buy presents, and be present, and we’re wrapping gifts or wrapping people in hugs, as we send gifts and send love, as we shop for and donate food, as we make cookies and memories side by side, let’s remember to rest before the heat is applied.
Let’s prepare our hearts and minds for the pressures that come with this busy season, by resting – however that looks for you. Whenever, it happens for you. Let’s rest.