Because I could fill an entire novel with the ridiculous, unexpected things that I do and experience, I thought I’d just give you the highlights in bullet form today:
- I ran into the corner of a wall so hard before a company Christmas party that I had a line running through my eyebrow, and it was tender for two weeks afterwards
- During that Christmas party, I received coffee at the white elephant; I was probably the only person in that room who passionately hates coffee.
- During my first Nutcracker show of the season, my wig was slowly sliding backwards for half an hour; I didn’t realize it until the third person made a joke about my receding hairline.
- I did another show without knowing I’d left my very visible hot pink croissant sock on underneath my character shoes.
- My parents and I were rear ended at the intersection 100 feet in front of the grocery store we were trying to get to (No damage to either car!).
- I had to light the Advent wreath at church and didn’t realize there was a step in front of me–nearly fell and took the whole wreath down.
These obviously display the more comical side of unpredictability. But with all the inconsistencies of life–comical or not–I’ve been thinking about our innate desire for reliability. Even the most free-spirited, spontaneous people I know need some sort of constant in their lives, something in which to place secure hope when everything else becomes fragile. The present popularity of mindfulness, self-awareness, and various forms of meditation allude to this universal search for being grounded–further, a craving for a sense of belonging, or a concrete purpose.
Something struck me in the message our priest gave during service this weekend. He was speaking on the story of the Magi coming to visit the infant Jesus and present Him with gifts. These three men, he noted, would have been some of the most intelligent, experienced scholars of their time: with royal education, their knowledge of astrology, geography, and other subjects would have far surpassed that of the majority of the population at the time. His first point was that these men, despite having access to the greatest wealth of information and skills available, embarked on a journey to find a supposed Savior whom they had never actually seen and who wasn’t even old enough to speak yet. They, with all of their abilities, still felt something missing in their lives, an urge that led them to pursue this Jesus and then choose allegiance to God over allegiance to their king.
His second point, though, is the one which I find most moving; and I think it’s something easily forgotten. Yes, the three Magi likely represented the top tier of academia of their people. However, as our priest said, every single person sitting in the church today has knowledge that surpasses the wildest dreams and imaginations of the Magi. Our world has unlocked expanses of information and explored fields of study that didn’t even exist in Biblical times. The most basic level of worldly understanding today is far beyond the most well-versed minds of the time of Jesus’ birth. And yet, we are still searching, still longing for that same “missing piece.” Hundreds of years, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, technological advancements, and social evolutions later, we are still looking for something more.
What a testament to God’s greatness! The reason we will always look for greater truth and purpose is because God Himself is the only perfect, constant source of it; it’s also the reason that we’ll continuously come up empty-handed as long as we go about our search by using our own abilities, by tirelessly attempting to harness the limited powers of the human mind and spirit. God has blessed us with the anatomical tools needed to explore the universe He created–to unfold new pieces of science and mathematics and psychology every day. We’ve still only uncovered a sliver of what is left to be learned. But no matter how advanced our understanding becomes, we will always be left feeling unfinished without God.
Life can be really frustrating, really painful, and really unpredictable. I encourage you, when the events of this world threaten to tear you apart, seek the only true source of stability. You can breathe knowing that He never intended for you to figure out how to find inner peace on your own because if you could, you would never realize your need for His goodness. Like the Magi, take the risky step away from your ever-changing comfort zone and towards that star.
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
Mango Rum Donuts (V) (GF)
- 2/3 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegan sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan light brown sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax mixed with 3 TBSP water, left to thicken in fridge for at least 5 minutes)
- 1 cup Malibu rum
- 2 2/3 plus 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 11/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup fresh mango puree
- 3 TBSP Malibu rum
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- toasted coconut (optional, for topping)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease 12 wells of a donut pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and both sugars. Mix on low-medium speed until completely combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Mix flax egg into butter mixture.
- Begin adding flour mixture and rum to butter mixture, alternating between each and mixing after each addition, until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Use a bag to pipe batter into donut pan wells, or spoon batter into them (piping is much easier but not necessary).
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-11 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed.
- Allow to cool in pans for five minutes, then turn donuts out onto a cooling rack.
- In a bowl wider than the donuts, whisk together all ingredients except toasted coconut.
- When donuts aren’t warm, dip top of each donut into glaze and place back on cooling rack.
- Allow glaze to set; then repeat this process, dipping each one again. This time, sprinkle toasted coconut on top immediately after dipping.
- Allow glaze to set if you can wait, and enjoy!