I love to get fancy with cooking, but sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics. When a big crowd is coming and I know I’ve got to cook a complete meal that looks and tastes good I usually try to stick with the simple and good food that I really know well. I might try one new recipe, or play with one unfamiliar technique, but I’ll be sure to have several dishes that I am confident will be solid in case the experiments turn out to be failures.
If you’re cooking for a crowd this Thanksgiving it might be a good idea to have a few solid dishes to fall back on. Return to the basics and really nail the clean and simple flavors well.
The same can be true of our Spiritual lives as followers of Jesus. Fall back to the basics when things get really busy and stressful. When life feels like it’s caving in all around you go to a Bible verse that you know well and love. Stick with a section of Scripture that you can understand and feel confident with. Meditate on a John 3:16, a Romans 8:20, or a Psalm 23 and 46. These verses have been carrying us through difficult times for generations. Let them carry you through a chaotic time as well.
My kids are learning to play musical instruments. My drummer is learning the basic rudiments and repeating them over and over. The violin and guitar players are practicing scales. Those basic patterns repeated over and over are the building blocks of successful musical careers. Those basic elements of music will carry them through the difficult advanced tunes they’ll face in years to come. Practicing the basics is critical.
Keeping things simple and holding well to the basics can make a musician sound better, a meal taste better, and a life with Jesus stronger. During the busy seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year spend some time on the basics. Pray regularly. Read God’s Word every day. Worship weekly. Open your Small Catechism and review those basic truths.
Don’t let the busyness of this season push you around. Don’t let all the excitement and stress rule over you. Don’t let all the “to do lists” crowd your joy. Stick to the basics. Stick to Jesus.