“Why do I not eat these every single day,” I thought, taking the first warm gooey bite, melted frosting dripping down everywhere. Cinnamon rolls. Heaven in cinnamony form. Yes, cinnamony is a real word. When cinnamon rolls are done right, there’s nothing like them. Heaven on a plate. When they’re done poorly, toss them over here. I’ll still probably eat the whole batch. True story.
Preheat the oven to 375, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Seriously? Do people in real life preheat the oven? It takes longer to preheat the oven than it does to actually bake cinnamon rolls. That’s ridiculous. It’s shenanigans- some conspiracy between Betty Crocker and the power company.
“We’ll tell people to preheat their ovens, and you can give us a ‘monetary contribution’ on all that extra electricity or natural gas that they’re using…”. Ok. Ok. Probably not. I’m sorry Betty. I apologize. You’re not in league with the utility companies for some kickback scheme…that I know of. But I’ve got my eye on you, Betty. I’ve got my eye on you . Kidding. Mostly.
It takes a while for our oven at home to warm up. If it’s a quick ‘warm these leftovers up real quick’ situation, I’ll just throw the food in our toaster oven. Less fuss, same’ish result. Don’t talk to me about the microwave. Oven > Microwave. Microwaves are for emergencies only.
That got me thinking about how it takes a while for me to warm up, too. It takes me a while to get moving and brain-awake in the morning. I’ve found that coffee helps. And people? People, too. Maybe it’s just a Donnie thing, but it takes me a while to warm up to folks. Sometimes months. Ok, sometimes years, to feel all warm and fuzzy about letting them get in to Donnie in Real Life.
But once you’re in, you’re in. And when you’re in, you get all the weirdness that comes along with being in: the jokes, the nicknames, the funny stuff, the stories, but also the real stuff, the God stuff, sometimes the ugly stuff.
And when I do warm up, I tend to connect easiest to the weird folks. It’s not a judgement. I’m weird. I naturally find other weirdos like me. I am a magnet for the strange: the folks who have 14 cats, passionate collectors of inanimate objects, experts in the obscure, or the guy who turned the bathtub in his second bathroom into a full on server rack (IT stuff- if you get it, then you get it), the artists, the broken, the scarred- aka, the weird. They get the toaster oven treatment for some reason. It doesn’t take as long to warm up to them.
Jonah 1:16 (NKJV) “Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.”
When we let people into our lives, it opens the door for God to show Himself to those people we let in. Sometimes people get in accidentally, like in the case of the sailors with Jonah. Man, did those poor guys ever get the toaster oven treatment.
When they were brought in to Jonah’s life, that opened the door for them to see the power of God in Jonah’s life, and the call that God had on Him. I mean, it was a weird introduction to God: ‘Sorry dudes. Yeah, my God made everything, and He wants me to go to Nineveh, but I’m going somewhere else, so that’s why there’s this storm. My bad about you losing all the cargo and stuff. But if you throw me overboard everything will be cool again.’ Talk about a first impression. Toaster oven first impression. Toaster oven connections.
How do you make that shift to giving people the toaster oven treatment, but in a good way? I don’t know. Then there’s also those times when we’re the ones being brought straight into the heat of someone else’s life. You’re in the toaster oven. It’s easy to pull back; it’s natural to pull away in those situations. Well, natural for me anyway. But what would happen if when we’re brought into the heat of someone’s life, instead of pulling back, we push in.
Instead of taking a step back when faced with someone’s weirdness or pain or crisis- what if we took a step forward? Instead of giving people the oven treatment, what if we took a risk and gave someone the toaster oven quick pass? Could God use that act of willingness- willingness to step in or the willingness to be open with someone? Could He use that to introduce Himself: His power, His glory, His majesty, His will and call?
Or maybe when someone naturally gets the toaster oven treatment, maybe we just take better advantage of that? Maybe those folks that you naturally connect with, maybe for them it’s just a matter of being diligent to take advantage of that: step in, connect, be open and honest with them so that they can see God moving and working in your life.