My wife Kelli and I were reminiscing with a friend the other day about our first weeks as a married couple living in a small one bedroom apartment in Springfield, Missouri while I attended graduate school. Kelli decided to surprise me one evening with a special dinner featuring a homemade meatloaf.
She found a good meatloaf recipe on the side of a Quaker Oats container and set out with her ground beef, egg, onions, peppers, etc. to prepare a feast fit for newlyweds grossing $3000 the first year of their marriage. Apparently, everything was going fine until at some point her eyes shifted from the meatloaf recipe. When she glanced back at the container, she began to follow the recipe for oatmeal cookies instead.
At the time she thought it was strange that the meatloaf recipe would call for nearly a cup of sugar but then again it was their recipe. Realizing what she had done later, Kelli attempted to compensate for what would be the sweetest meatloaf in history by chopping up an entire onion and adding it to the recipe. She tossed the meatloaf in the oven and served the meal as soon as I arrived home.
I couldn’t help but to burst into laughter when I cut into my portion of the meatloaf and onions sprang out literally from everywhere. I thanked her for what I called the “onion ball.” She was not nearly as amused but had to laugh at the most unusual tasting meatloaf in history – a mixture of funnel cake, hamburger, and blooming onion from Outback Steakhouse.
Like just about everything else in life, I see a great lesson here spiritually. The Lord has left us all a recipe for the abundant life in Jesus (John 10:10). If we follow his ways and keep our eyes on Him and His word, things will go well with us (3 John 2). It is amazing in our daily lives how much damage can be done by inclining our ears in the wrong direction or fixing our eyes on the wrong things. Let me encourage you to habitually incline your ears to God’s word and keep that same word before your eyes constantly (Proverbs 4:20). As you do this faithfully you will be adding the right ingredients for a victorious, overcoming, and successful life (rather than turning your life into something resembling an onion ball).