|Image: Warner Bros|
“I wish,” Kate confesses, “there was a cookbook for life, you know, with recipes telling us exactly what to do.” She waves her hand at her therapist. “I know, I know. You’re going to say, ‘How else do we learn, Kate.’”I like this scene because it echoes a deeper and greater truth. In this messy, muddled and chaotic life, it is as we love each other that the best recipes are created—ones with bursting with the flavors like truth, forgiveness, repentance, and not seeking one’s own.
“Hmm,” he says. “No, actually I wasn’t going to say that. You want to guess again?”
“No, no, go ahead.”
“What I was going to say was: You know better than anyone. It’s the recipes that you create yourself that are the best.”
This is all amplified in the Word—of which it’s not uncommon to think of as a kind of recipe book. But I think that shortchanges what the Bible contains. Indeed, it is full of unparalleled wisdom and life-changing truths by which we live, it shows us how the world really works, and it reveals who God is and how he works—but it isn’t a recipe book.
No, this Word lays bear the magnificent Story of God working and loving and redeeming and restoring in the dust, blood, beauty and mess of this broken world—a Story in which we too are invited to work and walk with and grow in the likeness to Jesus. And this Story—this Word—points us not to rules or recipes or plays for life but to a relationship. And it is in that relationship that recipes are created that work best in our here-and-now as-we-go life. It is through the Story that I find out about and get to know God—and it is in walking with Jesus that I learn how to love people here-and-now in the ever complex and shifting moments of life.
Indeed, there isn’t a recipe book for life. It is as we love—as we walk with Jesus, love God and love others—that the best recipes in life (and even life itself) are created.
(Note: This review originally appeared on my other blog, In the open space: God & Culture.)