Lenten Looking

I happen to believe that my peanut butter cookies are the best peanut butter cookies in the history of peanut butter cookie making. This has not been confirmed.

At the least, they’re pretty good. And I had four for breakfast. So it’s a fairly recent opinion.

Let’s wander into some fantasy world in which I’m a carpenter, or at least enjoy woodworking. Let’s go further and say I make a table. A nice end table, something.

I’m not going to brag on this table, even if it’s really nice. Not cool to brag. I’d probably point out a few mistakes, accept compliments, change the subject. Behave like a normal human being.

Back to reality. I’m not bragging when I say these peanut butter cookies are good. First, they are. Second, they’re cookies. Third, as with all of my attempts at baking and cooking, I really don’t understand what part I played, if much at all, in the end result. A lot of times it’s just using really good ingredients and having some patience. I’m not sure much skill is involved.

The secret to these cookies, by the way, is peanuts. No jars of Jiffy are ever harmed when I bake these cookies.

Bread is the same way. I dunno. People like it. I’ve been doing this for years now. It’s like taking out the trash or cleaning the stovetop. Routine, mildly boring, needs to be done, not particularly stressful. The oven does most of the work.

***

Pride is not something I need help with, in other words. I’m proud of some stuff, but not excessively so.

Yesterday I led an aftertalk, sort of an adult education class we hold after church services most Sundays. It being the first Sunday of Lent, and having just heard the Genesis story of the fruit and the tree, and the Matthew story of the 40 days of temptation in the desert, the subject matter just sat there, waiting. What tempts us, what distracts us, and what specifically about the modern world?

This was also super easy; people made long lists, with the usual suspects. It’s been a modern problem for a long time, which is to say…I’m not quite sure how to parse that. It’s a problem endemic to modern life, maybe. Distractions. Too many, too often, too ubiquitous.

I think we all got it, too. Lent isn’t about giving up chocolate, unless chocolate is somehow preventing you from engaging in more productive or useful activities, which is just an absurd thing to suggest. C’mon.

Lent, then, at least for us and at least for yesterday’s purposes, is about figuring out what’s keeping us from being better, and then figuring out how to work on that. We made a start. I’ve made a start.

The cookies had nothing to do with it, by the way. It was just Cookie Sunday.

And make that five. Really good.

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