Every year, our school puts on a cake sale as a community fundraiser, raising money to benefit local, national and international organizations in need.
Each class is expected to provide a cake – either purchased or baked – which is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, determined by money raised in each homeroom.
It’s an exciting tradition that helps rally the school together and boost spirit among students and staff alike. Really, it’s a win-win scenario; we all get to enjoy some delicious cake while doing a good deed and helping people who are underprivileged.
The timing of this year’s cake auction coincided perfectly with a particular unit of study in one of my Religious Education classes.
Discussing God’s mysterious ways and His master plan for us, I introduced the topic by sharing with my students a presentation about a mother’s famous cake.
In my demonstration, a daughter returns home from school very upset one day, having failed a math test while later learning her boyfriend had dumped her for her best friend.
Feeling her life as she knew it is over, the girl’s mother suggests baking a tasty dessert in order to cheer up her teenaged girl.
First, the mom offers some vegetable oil for her daughter to taste, prompting instant disgust as a reaction.
Next, some raw eggs are presented, shocking the daughter all the more.
Then, the mom encourages her to eat some baking flour, at which point the girl rejects her in complete confusion.
The mother proceeds to show her daughter that, while all of the cake ingredients may not be very appetizing on their own, they combine to form a delicious masterpiece in the end.
Similarly, God shows us how life can be very much like a cake and its ingredients.
While we may experience hardships and terrible disappointments, we do not always realize at the time how these can be stepping stones on the path to something great that God has in store for us.
We don’t necessarily appreciate how God is arranging everything together so that we can learn, grow and savor all the goodness He has planned in our future.
For instance, a failed test can spur modified study habits that eventually lead to honor roll status at the end of the semester. A relationship breakup can lead to ultimately meeting someone new with whom we can develop a beautiful romance.
You see, with God, any setback in our lives is merely a setup for a comeback.
As long as we call on the Lord and place our full trust in Him, life’s true master chef will take all of our difficulties and frustrations, our worries and our fears, and convert them into wonderful opportunities. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
But therein lies the rub.
For this to occur, God requires our complete faith in Him, asking us to give unconditional devotion – something we are not always prepared or willing to do.
Jesus teaches true happiness is obtained through loving God with our entire heart, soul, mind and strength, while loving all others as ourselves. (Luke 10:27)
This, it would appear, serves as the basis for a perfect recipe for a strong, healthy relationship with God and all of His children.
Mixing in elements such as the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, along with other key ingredients like patience, discipline, humility and wisdom, God shares with us another cake we would be smart to eat.
Following baking instructions such as the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule, we are shown exactly how to live a life rooted in prosperity.
So, the next time you attend a birthday party or some other celebration where cake is served, may you feel encouraged to dive right in and enjoy a big piece.
You can do so knowing God is at work, organizing all of your challenges and troubles so they may become blessings of promise.
And while you won’t gain any weight sampling God’s cake, you can be sure you will gain an abundance of joy – both in the short and long term.