“Mashed Potatoes anyone?”

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:45 AM


Things are a bit hectic around the house these days. My wife and daughter are busy preparing for my daughters upcoming wedding. With all of this activity it leaves dad in charge of the younger gang and household a little more often than usual or is safe.

The older kids are no problem they can go on co-pilot with little trouble. Then there are the younger two, Caleb at 7 and Gracie at 5, they need a little more supervision, somewhat like dad. Kids I have had them for a while, I can deal with just about anything; dinner well that is another story all together.

My wife has never worked outside the home, thus spoiling her husband to the fact he has never really had to cook. Perhaps she had a memory lapse with this recently; I understand she has a lot on her mind. But her memory lapse left me, Caleb and Gracie to cook barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes.

She made it sound so easy; I thought surely we can get this done. First to be dealt with was the chicken, me and my trusty assistants went at it like Martha Stewart. We bushed on the sauce, the pepper, the spice and tucked it in the oven. As I put it in I thought ‘chicken done’ and we all smiled at each other with great satisfaction.

The mashed potatoes were instant and I mean how hard could that be. It was so easy I let my assistants head off to watch a little television, no need to trouble them on this one. They were more than glad to head out of the kitchen.

As I began I realized that Kim had not walked me through this so my only course of action was to read the instructions. Not a strong point of mine I might add. I filled a good size pot full of water, remembering how I had seen it done in the past. After I filled up the pot I went to the box, by the way what is an instant potato anyway? On the back were very clear instructions that even a 49 years old rookie could follow.

I read the instructions starting at the point just after how much water to put in; I thought I had that down. I went right by the letter of the law on the back of the box. I added some milk at the end and started pouring the little flakes into the pot thinking soon we would have some delicious father made mashed potatoes. Not so.

The more I poured in the more it looked like flake soup. I stirred as the directions instructed but soon noticed that there was way too much water in the pot. So I just poured in the whole box hoping to overcome the excess water. Much to my disappointment this did not work. My hopes of doing a bang up job were going up in ‘flakes’.

As Kim arrived I stood there next to my mashed potato soup and waited for some help. Without laughing too hard she went to the cupboard and pulled out some instant potato reinforcements and poured them in, while instructing me that perhaps I had put in too much water. When she finished we indeed had mashed potatoes; as a matter of fact we had enough for the whole block.

The whole instant potato disaster could have been averted with a few simple fixes; often that is how we are in life as well, we are close but not close enough.

Fixes to our Problems:

· Read and follow all the instructions. I started too far down the box thinking I knew the first part of the process, obviously I did not. We do the same with God, we think we have it all together but when we get to the end of the day we realize that we missed an easy first step in His directions that lead us to unnecessary trouble. Follow all His instructions, take nothing for granted!

· When I found the problem I just started throwing more flakes at the problem, I never went back to the instructions which would have clearly showed me the problem. When you find yourself in trouble don’t just start reacting, pause long enough to go back to the instructions (God and His word) and see where the problem started; take nothing for granted. Often we get ourselves in more trouble by making quick decisions without consulting God.

When you find yourself going down the wrong road pause and remember the instant potatoes; better to have none or to start over than to waste a lot of time and throw the entire box away.

Same with life, before you get too far out of Gods will it is better to stop and start over instead of throwing a whole life away. The great thing about God is that He even has instructions on how to start over!

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; And He will make your paths straight.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to learn from you and to live out our days according to your Word. When thank you that when we fail you still love us and provide a way out of even our failure! We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 176 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to simple-truths.net. You can now follow me on twitter at RAH_OHHH.


all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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