Whether you’re helping others to live their dream or are in the process of developing your own, there are some helpful tips from the baking world that can help.
In baking, as in life, we often do not follow the recipe faithfully. We sometimes don’t have all the ingredients or don’t like the recommended ones and make our own substitutions. Some of these change the essence of the recipe, which you have the choice to do, but please note that the cooking times and temperatures would probably need to be altered as a result. Often things get a lot hotter for a lot longer if you decide to do it your way.
Use a non-stick pan for baking. The baking process is hot and uncomfortable which means that people can sometimes get too attached to the person or thing helping them to go through the process, with disastrous consequences. Your role is to take them through, not take them on. As soon as they’re ready turn them out onto a cooling tray where they can be shared with the world. You should be a good steward, but know when your work is done and don’t encourage unhealthy attachments.
Know your oven. Your relationships, team or organisation is the oven furnace that helps you and others get ready. Some ovens have uneven temperature distribution so it matters where you place the baking tin. Similarly know which part of your organisation, you should place someone, know which people are the right connections for them to make, which role is right for them at any given time.
Be patient. If you take your masterpiece out of the oven too early or if you yourself jump out of the fire too soon, you could fall flat. The more you bake the more astute you become at recognising the signs of readiness. Perhaps the sides begin to shrink a little and the colour begins to take on a slightly golden glow.
But if in doubt, test it. Stick a skewer right in the middle. If you are in the process, it seems the most cruel thing to have the skewer stuck right where you are at your most vulnerable, but it only hurts if you’re not ready and it’s better to know that you need to be cooked for a little longer than to come out before your time and be ruined. If you have an incompetent tester, or one with issues, you might find them using a knife instead of a toothpick or stabbing at you instead of gently testing. Pray that the Lord protects you from such. Or some may use the hand method where they press gently on top to see whether you stand firm under pressure or begin to give way. Testers beware: this should not be done by inexperienced people, otherwise you could ruin the dish and you will get burnt.
Use oven gloves. Remember it is going to be hot! You have to carefully negotiate the sides of the oven, the other relationships and processes that have already been put in place. But most importantly, a person who has just come out of the furnace is piping hot, full of the freshness of revelation and experiential knowledge and cherished by God. Handle with care or you could be seriously burnt or end up dropping the baking tin.
Still wanna live the dream?