Once Upon a Time

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I like pudding, especially the banana pudding my mama made when I was a girl. She measured Domino® sugar, Gold Medal® flour, and Morton® salt into what she called a stewer (most people call it a pot or a pan) and placed it on the electric stove in the corner of the kitchen. Then, she gradually stirred in milk and cooked the mixture slowly until it thickened. She let it cool slightly before stirring in three beaten egg yolks and a teaspoon of McCormick vanilla.

In her white and red casserole dish (white on the inside and red on the outside), Mother layered Nabisco® vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and the warm pudding. Then she poured the remaining egg whites into a clean bowl and beat them with her portable electric mixer. As Mother beat the egg whites, she gradually added sugar. When the egg whites turned white and formed peaks, she spooned them on top of the banana pudding and put the casserole dish in a hot oven. In about five minutes, the peaks of this meringue topping were golden brown and our banana pudding was ready, beautiful, and delicious.

The Banana Pudding Master and Her Daughter on Easter Morning
The Banana Pudding Master and Her Daughter on Easter Morning

Jello® had been making instant pudding for over twenty years when Mother made her real home-cooked pudding on the stove. Mother used many convenience foods but not for her banana pudding.

Inventors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have introduced thousands of instant products. We are surrounded by so many that we hardly realize the vast changes that have taken place.

Once upon a time people heard music because a craftsman made an instrument and a musician learned to play it. Now we can push buttons on a variety of devices and have music instantly.

Once upon a time people grew cotton, harvested it, and spun it to make a wick. They killed an animal, rendered its fat, and made a candle. They struck a flint and made a spark to light the candle. Look around you from where you are sitting right now and notice how many sources of instant light are in your sight.

If we aren’t very careful, we may find ourselves so used to instant pudding and music and light and such that we want everything to be instant. People can make stuff instant, but we can’t make people instant. People need time.

No inventor is ever going to change that. Learning takes time. Wisdom takes time. Teaching takes time. Relationships take time.

We may be tempted to resent the time people take, but giving our time to people we love is actually a gift to ourselves. When we give our time to be with the people we love, we receive the blessing of being with them.

God is the perfect example of being with the people He loves.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
Psalm 139:7-10

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  1. This is a perfect reminder that I needed! I can’t rush my 3 year old through his temper tantrums as he is learning to handle his frustrations properly. I can’t rush my 10 year old to learn to focus on one thing at a time. I can’t rush my 13 year old to stay on task and manage her time. All these things are LEARNED through experience and I forget that they did not come preprogrammed with this knowledge. Thank you because I think I was caught up in having things in an instant.

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