No. 990



If by chance you have a gas cook stove, have you ever tried to prepare a meal just using the pilot light? Well, as I can tell you from experience, it is no fun and it takes a whole lot longer, like days.
In the past I have told you about a weekly men’s prayer breakfast I attend at a local church, that is not my own. There are only about 10 to 12 of us, and the fellowship we have, in addition to having intercessory prayer for people who are hurting, is tremendous. We love each other and have a lot of good times, and as you can suspect, a lot of good-natured kidding takes place.
We arrive a little before 7 o’clock for breakfast and are always out by 8 a.m. However, we rotate the cooking duties, and two or three men get there a little before 6 a.m. to prepare our food. As my friend Cliff Garrison says, “It is the best $3 breakfast in town.” We have biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, coffee and orange juice.
Well, on one particular Wednesday morning a few weeks ago, the cook crew (I was one of them), got there, opened all the packages and got the various items placed in the stove. In case you don’t know, these big old gas cook stoves have a pilot light and all you have to do is set the temperature gauge and then turn it on. When you open the oven door you can look down and see the pilot light, but you have to make sure you have actually turned the oven on. On this particular day someone forgot to turn it on (I won’t call names). After about 15 minutes the others began to arrive, expecting a delicious breakfast. When we checked the bacon and the biscuits, they were not cooking at all, because it was just the warmth of the pilot light.
At this point I wish I had a pencil to write down all the things that were said in relation to this, but needless to say, they carried us high. We finally got it done but were about 15 minutes late. As I thought about this experience later, I was reminded that this is how a lot of people go through life, just cooking with the pilot light and never using the tremendous power and potential they have in achieving success.
While we had a lot of fun that day, as I thought about an appropriate way to end this column where there would be a little “meat” and not just fluff, I recalled a couple of quotes that mean a lot to me. I hope they will to you as well. First, this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that is certainly profound: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. The day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear with its hopes and invitations to waste a moment on yesteryears.”
And then these words from Dr. Heartsill Wilson that could almost be a prayer on our lips each morning: “This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. This day is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever, leaving it its place something that I have traded for it. Therefore, I want it to be good and not evil, gain and not loss, success and not failure, in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it.”
This next time you find yourself a little dismayed and needing a shot in the arm, I hope you will remember to turn the oven on.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)