I don’t love to cook. It’s more of a chore that must be completed rather than a creative, energizing expression. The one exception is when I cook with my cast iron pan. The MAN PAN. It has greater weight and durability than other pans. It’s built for meat and grease. It’s best and most unique feature, though, is that it seasons with use. NEVER wash a cast iron pan. Instead, scrape off food bits and spray it with cooking oil. Then put it in the oven at 400º for 20 minutes, killing the bacteria and sealing in the flavor. The glorious result is that each successive meal made in a cast iron pan has more flavor, built on everything else ever cooked in that pan.
It recently occurred to me that I view myself much as I view my cast iron pan. I am a man being seasoned by dirt and water, smoke and fire, blood and sweat, relationships and life. After I prayerfully reflect on each experience, God scrapes off the grit, burns off the bitterness, and seals in the growth. With each successive experience, God is seasoning me to be more like who He intended me to be, more like His Son. This is encouraging because God uses even the difficult, awful experiences to shape and season me. It’s not always linear growth, but the general trend over time is that I am becoming a richer, fuller “cast iron pan” in the hands of God, the Master Chef.