This morning as I was making preparations for tonight's dinner, I realized I was out of cooking oil. I didn't have a back up plan and since my family expects to eat every night, I HAD to make things work somehow. So.....what could I use in place of the oil?
After choosing butter, I began to think of other substitutes that I had used and other times I had improvised. And then Holy Spirit began speaking.
One definition for improvise is to make do with whatever materials are on hand. Some synonyms are fake, make do, invent, throw together, wing it, extemporize.
A substitute is a person or thing acting or serving in the place of another
There have been many (many) instances when I have had to improvise or find a substitute. Some things have worked well, others.....not so much.
Like the time I was out of detergent for my dishwasher. (You know what I'm going to say here, don't you?) Yes, ....I did. Being young and inexperienced in the dishwasher department (because growing up I WAS the dishwasher), I thought surely a little bit of regular dish soap would work just as well. Unfortunately (as those of you who will admit ever doing this know), that was not the case. Imagine my surprise when I saw the detergent bubbling out of my dishwasher like molten lava from a volcano! Overflow would not quite describe what happened in my kitchen that day! I'm not sure I ever told my husband about it, but I"m sure he noticed how clean and shiny the floor was that particular evening.
Unlike my dishwasher story, the butter proved to be a more worthy substitute. Not as good, but good enough.
As Holy Spirit began to speak to me, He, once again, challenged me to examine my life. How often do I substitute things for my time with God? How many times have I found myself lacking in an area or in need of something and instead of getting exactly what I needed, I improvised? How many times have I settled for not as good, but good enough?
Don't get me wrong....improvising can be a great and useful tool when it comes to things like using a stick of my kids school glue when I run out of my scrapbooking glue, hand drawing a poster when my printer runs out of ink or using white thread when I would rather have light pink. But when it comes to our relationship with God, there is no substitute that compares, nothing that fills our heart or completes us the way He does.
There have been times when I have been stressed out, in need of peace, joy or comfort and turned to dark chocolate or a large stuffed crust pepperoni lovers pizza with extra cheese dipped in ranch to make me feel better. (Note to self: ...this would be one of those not so much times.....)
I don't want anything concerning my walk with my Savior, my journey with the King of Kings to be just good enough. Jesus gave everything for me. I don't want something that is not quite as good, but good enough, I want a real relationship with the One true God, my heavenly Father.
There is nothing, or no one who compares.
*All definitions/synonyms found at dictionary.com.