Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Parable of the Chef

So I don't know at what point in the mish I started doing this, but some investigators in different areas understood our lessons a lot better if we broke it down into a simpler parable. It became one of my favorite things because I could watch the lesson register with them in a deeper way. Some of my favorites are Word of Wisdom compared to a sports car, living the gospel is like a cookie, and the commandments compared to a soccer game. I have since the mission continued to put my life situations in a different context to help me understand them better or think of them in a different way. This situation has been on my mind for a long while and somehow this home brewed parable has been a product of my ponderings. Here she be: The Parable of the Chef. My Ethics and Values teacher this summer told us that when we get mad, it's because something unexpected has happened. (ex. someone cutting us off on the freeway) I, however, will be referring to being upset about different things. For example, I have noticed that I have had a hard time in the past when I feel like I pray about something, I make plans, I have it all figured out just how it's supposed to work and...WHAMY, it doesn't happen that way. What the heck?! I'm then bothered because I had it all figured out and it worked out exactly...not that way.

Some real life examples (I have no problem being a good bad example): Back in '08 I was stoked out of my mind about my killer plans to move back to Paris. It was exactly what I wanted. I had a job set up, place to stay, practically a perm-a-grin just thinking about it. Well, long story very short, I got my patriarchal blessing, did some praying, and got a very clear answer to serve a mission. Wow. Cue the tears. It was not what I had in mind. Not what I had planned. And yet in hindsight, I will forever be grateful that Heavenly Father told me to serve a mission rather than be entirely selfish and run off to France. I met people that I love with all my heart, love and understand the gospel so much more, learned a lot about service and hard work...the list goes on and on but the point is, His way was better than my killer plans.

Or (another good bad example) there was a bit in my mission when I had a rough time in a particular area. I prayed frequently expressing how it was wearing on me and my desire to be transferred. And transfer after transfer...I just kept on staying. I remember after receiving every transfer call that told me I was staying, I couldn't wait for my prayers that night because I really needed to talk to Him about it. haha It was not what I had planned you see. I'd had hopes, expectations and...they'd not gone the way I'd already decided they should.

So pretty much anytime you already have things "figured out", decided, an expectation, assumption of how things "should" be, etc. and those things don't work out...at least for me, I sometimes feel frustrated, confused, and wonder what it is Heavenly Father has in mind because...there has obviously been a miscommunication somewhere along the way right? haha The one thing that appears to always be consistent, is I look back on the experience grateful out of my mind that I didn't get what I wanted. Weird right? The thing that I'm bothered that I don't get, is something I'm later thanking God He didn't give me. My mission, changed my life. Staying in that area for 6 MONTHS, taught me lessons and strengthened me and my relationship with God in a way that never could have happened if I had gotten my way and been transferred. So here comes the parable:
I feel like life can be like heading into a restaurant. We sit down, we get our menu (although we know exactly what we want) and we order. I tell the waiter, "I would love some right nice minestrone soup." Yup. It's my favorite. I know that I like it. It's what I want.
Well...I wait for a wee bit, soooo stoked about my soup because I've been thinking about it and how ridiculously delicious it's going to be and... the waiter comes out with this:

Errr....hilarious but seriously...not funny. Lobster? Come on. I don't like fish. This is not what I ordered. It's not what I want. The waiter says some comment about how the chef insisted I try his world famous lobster. Okay...but he could just as well brew me my minestrone soup right?! haha Well I obviously want a word with this chef because I'd appreciate some sort of explanation. The chef comes out and tells me that he didn't give me what I ordered because he wanted me to try something new. And most likely, in my trying this new dish, I'll discover a new favorite food or a passion for a new spice or vegetable. It's a discovery I never would have made if he'd just always bring me my minestrone soup. He's trying to broaden my horizon--show me new favorites.
I don't know if any of this made sense to you at all but it has really helped me when I find myself in situations when I'm getting served Lobster and all I wanted was minestrone. Yeah, God doesn't always give you what you want when you want it. And let's face it, in hindsight we're always grateful that He didn't. We'd be spoiled, "picky eaters". There's always a purpose behind what He's exposing us to. Always a lesson to learn, we're being strengthened, He's showing us a different a perspective, introducing us to new "favorites", helping us acquire new personality traits, be compassionate toward those around us, and I've noticed humility and patience are two of his favorite side dishes to serve free of charge. :) As frustrating as it can seem in the moment--when things don't go as we'd expected, His way is always, always better. I'm so glad He doesn't always give me what I order because I have learned to love so many other things because of it. That is all. :)


  1. What amazing insight! I love this parable, and it definitely applies to my life, what with my scattering of jewels to every Egyptian in sight...wait what? I still can't believe you were in the same area for 6 months. You're incredible.

  2. I love you!! You are absolutley amazing! I love your parable and so you know it will probably work its way into one of my lessons someday.

  3. I really love this. I think I just needed this today. I feel exactly like you do. I wonder so much what the future will bring, I know what I want to have happen, but I am curious to see if it will. I appreciate your words of advice, and I love the parable.

  4. Yep, just as brilliant as I remembered. Love it.

  5. Mallory you are way smarter than your age. You will be such a fun Mom someday. I just think it will be hard to find a man good enough for you. They are do dumb these days! By the way, in the parable, did you eat the lobster? hee hee Mom

  6. thank you mal. sei cosi saggio.