For a variety of reasons, I decided several days ago to make a zucchini bread. Zucchini is in season and although I’m not growing any in our garden, it seemed like the thing to do. Not surprisingly, I had a quick bread in my collection of recipes and I jumped in and created it. It surprised me to find that the recipe suggested a bake time of only 35 minutes. In spite of my gut feeling that this wasn’t long enough, I did as indicated.

If you guessed that the bread was a failure, you’re absolutely right. I watched the center of it sink to the equator and tossed it in exasperation. Why hadn’t I trusted my gut?

Not to be deterred, I found a new recipe online, went to the store for ingredients, and created a perfect zucchini bread. Is there a moral or a lesson to be had? Absolutely yes. Had I not used the first recipe, I never would have found the perfect bread, one that I will be eager to reproduce when next I have the baking urge.

And so it goes with life. If we only see our disappointments as failures, we are making a huge mistake. In this case, I see the first recipe as a gift, an opportunity, and a lesson. The other “mistakes” that we experience in our lives are probably also invitations to do something else, something better, and something more valuable. If we learn from what we do, good and bad outcomes, we continue to grow and improve.

If you’re thinking that there’s a reference to God’s presence, you’re right. My concept of God is not a force that guides my actions to take one path or another. My preference is to think of God affording me the wisdom to understand the directions I select, making it possible to create any and all positive results. Shalom.

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