Yesterday was my dad’s birthday – he lives in heaven now, but he would have been 96 years old. Most of my memories from my ‘growing up’ years reflect a dad who was a hard worker.
He had two jobs in order to provide for his family, so we didn’t have much of what I would refer to as ‘quality time’ together. But I do have a memory of the many times over the warm summer months when he would pull out the ice cream churn and make homemade vanilla ice cream. It was quite the project… the ice cream mixture would cook on the stove until the right consistency and then be poured into a metal container and inserted in the churn. Now at that time there were no electric ice cream churns, so making ice cream meant a good amount of time spent turning the handle to “churn” the ice cream. At the same time, ice and rock salt (does anyone know what that is anymore?!) was continually filling the bucket to surround the mixture soon to become ice cream. I remember that waiting was very hard. Having to take a turn at the ‘churning’ was even harder, as my dad was pretty particular about doing everything just right. He’d occasionally stop and lift the lid to see if the mixture was freezing. Not yet… not yet… not yet. But eventually, at just the right time, he would lift the lid and we all could see that it was finally ice cream time! And trust me, it was worth the wait – especially because at the same time, my mother was in the kitchen making hot fudge sauce to top the yummy ice cream!
So, what’s the lesson? As a child, clearly the message was patience. And I wasn’t very good at it – in fact I’m still not. Could you eat that ice cream mixture before it was ready? Sure, but it wouldn’t taste the same, look the same, or feel the same. That ice cream needed sufficient time in order to be awesome. How about you – are you impatient while waiting for an opportunity? Do you want it to happen sooner? Is it hard for you to wait, even though you know that waiting will yield far better results? And how about that rock salt that makes the ice melt that freezes the cream mixture? I remember accidentally tasting a piece once as a youth – wow, not a good memory! But that not so pleasant tasting rock salt was essential to creating great ice cream. Are there things in your life that are difficult and unpleasant – is there a possibility that those very things may be shaping you for something awesome? And then finally, there’s the tedious process of churning that ice cream – in the beginning it’s relatively easy, but as the mixture starts to harden, the turning of that handle becomes harder and harder. Now one could stop when the going gets tough, but then the blessing of the ice cream will not be a reality. Is there anything in your life that seems to get harder and harder? For me, it’s essential to stay aware of the goal and focus on that, rather than dwell on the difficulty of the journey.
Remember that this person who’s sharing with you today is sharing for her own good as well as yours. I hope your journey is a good one… I look forward to hearing from you and having you share your thoughts with me… take care…