96: Cakes for My King

96: Cakes for My King

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Cakes for My King

By Sally Dixon

Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.

~Romans 15:17

I sat on the hard pew trying to concentrate on the minister’s droning voice. My throat hurt, my body ached, and I was sure if I’d peered in the mirror that I’d see a washed-out complexion. My thoughts proved correct as a concerned friend whispered in my ear, “Are you okay? You’re as white as the flour you cook with.” I merely shrugged, allowing her words to stroke the self-pity wallowing inside my soul. I closed my eyes, wishing I’d stayed home in bed.

For several weeks, I’d been working as a pastry chef in a new business. The owner’s grand plan included a cafe, restaurant, function centre, and hotel all rolled into one. And baking sweet creations for them appeared to be a grand adventure. I bounced with excitement the day I heard they wanted me to come. But five minutes after walking through the door, disappointment arrived with a silent thud. I walked into chaos — an undertrained, skeleton staff and a filthy, grease-encrusted kitchen greeted me.

“It will improve with time,” I told myself. I rolled up my sleeves and started scrubbing the kitchen. “After all, it is a new business. Of course, it will be hard work initially.”

I went the extra mile by working ten-hour days, six days a week, but bedlam reigned, and my passion for cakes became a burden resulting in burnout.

But God had led me there. I’d felt sure of it... until now. Did I make a mistake? I wanted to throw down my wooden spoon and quit.

With a sigh, I slouched into the angular pew. I would quit. I couldn’t be expected to work under these conditions.

“... Brother Lawrence worked in a monastery kitchen in the seventeenth century.”

My eyes sprung open as the minister’s voice penetrated my brain.

“His work was tedious — peeling potatoes and washing dishes.”

I stared at the balding reverend.

“Revelation came to Brother Lawrence that everything he did should be done for the glory of God. Going about mundane tasks, he’d murmur, ‘I put my little egg-cake into the frying pan for the love of God’” (from The Practice of the Presence of God).

The words speared my heart.

In that moment, I decided to persevere. The next day, as I whisked, stirred and baked, I continually muttered, “I put my little egg-cake into the frying pan...”

Crazy days tainted with exhaustion continued, but my attitude slowly changed. When self-pity came knocking, I’d picture that egg-cake sizzling in the pan. Then I told God my work was for Him. Eventually, as the business settled into normalcy, I made a discovery: I no longer concocted cakes with owners, customers or profit in mind. I baked cakes as if baking them for my King.

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