2 Peter 1:5-9
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
My husband, Danny, being the foremost cook in our household, has been gravitating toward cast iron pans in lieu of Teflon and stainless steel ones. Mind you, this has not been a knee-jerk transformation; he has given the choice of pans much thought, and the changes to our kitchen hardware have gradually evolved over the last two years.
As the chief "bottle washer" in the "Orlando Cafe," the name we fondly give our kitchen, any pan that doesn't give me fits, i.e., overnight soaking or a strenuous scouring with Brillo to restore it to a healthy state of cleanliness and shine, is all right by me. Our one remaining Teflon pan, the one I always default to when frying bacon, is, by far, the easiest one to clean. But if you're thinking stainless steel is the next contestant in the ease department, think again! Those rascals cling to residual oils and food particles as if they were hard-earned trophies from the culinary contests they have just been subjected to. One time, I recall, a stainless pan is rendered so indelibly scarred by its encounter with cooking oil, two days of soaking and scrubbing fail to restore it. Consequently, this most unfortunate of pans meets its demise in the yawning jaws of the trash bin.
Gun-shy me! I think, when Danny brings the first cast iron pan into our house, the cleaning nightmare will continue. Boy, do I have egg on my face! (Thank goodness, I clean up pretty well.) It's utter simplicity! Steaming hot water, a minimal effort with a Scotch-Brite scouring pad, rinse, towel-dry, and season with cooking oil: I find my bliss!
In the Scripture cited above, Peter is urging and encouraging the followers of The Way to develop and maintain the qualities that will produce good fruit for Christ's kingdom. If we practice adding these things to our lives on a daily basis, we are like the Teflon or cast iron pans: Easy to be set to rights should we go astray, because we are aware we have been cleansed of our past sins and know Jesus will be faithful to forgive us anew. But those who choose not to nurture these qualities are like the stainless steel pans: Clinging to the stained remnants of sin which mar and disfigure. Nearsighted and blind, not seeing that Christ's forgiveness, once and for all, has washed and scrubbed them clean. Hanging on to the sullied past instead of trusting in the bright, sparkling future into which Jesus lovingly invites us.
So I ask you, my friends, which pan are you?
Prayer: Father, work with us through Your Holy Spirit to cultivate and practice the impeccable virtues which St. Peter espouses to help us be the heralds of Your kingdom in this world. May we never forget that Your beloved Son, Christ Jesus, has forgiven our sins, once and forever, through His sacrifice on the cross. Let us be farsighted and focused on the eternal life promised to us because we are Your children, reconciled to You through Jesus. It is in His precious name, we pray. Amen.