Jason and I enjoy watching the show, Food Network Star. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a group of chefs (some professional, some not) competes for the chance to gain their own show on the Food Network Channel. The challenges vary from week to week, but all of them include a cooking portion and a presenting portion where they tell others how to make their dish. It’s entertaining to watch the chefs grow in both their culinary skills and their presence in front of a camera or a live audience. Each week, the chef who performed the worst is eliminated, leaving the others to continue vying for the spot of the next Food Network star.
One of the most difficult challenges the contestants face is near the end when they’re down to just a handful of contestants. The eliminated chefs return, and some of them are partnered with the current contestants to act as their sous-chefs (basically, an assistant). On the surface, one would think this challenge would be easier than the others because the chefs have an extra set of hands to prepare their meals in the allotted time, but it all depends on the willingness of their sous-chef to trust and follow directions.
On one of the most recent episodes we watched, a Kentucky chef named Jason was one of the final contestants and was joined up with a former contestant who was a know-it-all. While the sous-chefs of the other contestants followed orders and trusted the instructions of their chefs, she questioned every order and often did as she thought best.
At one point, the head chef instructed her to leave the sauce boiling until the flame disappeared (his sauce included a heavy dose of bourbon). Afraid of the flame, she kept saying, “I don’t think this is right. This doesn’t look right. I’m going to turn it down.” Each time, Jason, the head chef, assured her, “No, it’s fine. Just let it keep burning. It’ll be fine.” Despite his assurances, she fretted over the flame, and as soon as the head chef turned away, she mumbled, “This doesn’t look right. I’m turning it off.” And she did.
When the judges tasted Jason’s food, everything was wonderful except for one thing. Yup, the sauce. The bourbon hadn’t cooked down enough, and the sauce was too strong. In her failure to trust the head chef and follow his orders, the sous-chef nearly cost him the prize.
I think you probably already see where I’m going with this. How many times are we, like the sous-chef, unwilling to trust the Master because we don’t understand the plan? How often do we take matters into our own hands because things don’t look right to us? So many times, our doubts and uncertainties cause us to question the Lord’s instructions, and we decide we know better and do things our own way. And the result is often a catastrophe.
Funny enough, I found myself furious with that sous-chef. She should have listened to Jason. It was his dish, his recipe. He knew what he was doing. She should have trusted his judgment and obeyed his instructions. I was shouting at her, “Just leave it alone, and do what he said!” And then, I received a heavenly thump in the back of my head, and my outward criticisms turned to inward rebuke.
I should listen to the Lord. It’s His plan, His creation, and He knows what’s He’s doing. I need to trust His judgment and obey His instructions, even when I don’t understand. Especially when I don’t understand. Lord, help me!