You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
– Henry Drummond
I had, in recent months, taken a liking for cupcakes. Albeit the fact that I had to watch my sugar intake and not overload myself with too much calories, I must admit that I love eating them. Especially when they are light, fluffy and most importantly, moistly dense -not forgetting that little blob of creamy frosting on top, coupled with sprinkles of chocolate chips and pretty little intricate designs that I love!
Have you ever wondered how cupcakes came about? I was bugged by the very thought of it so I did a little research and found out that the cupcake actually evolved in the United States as far back as the 19th century. Cupcakes were revolutionary because of the little time it took to bake them due to their small size. Before the use of volume measurements, cupcake recipes, also known as 1234 cakes, were made up of 4 ingredients and measured by the size of a cup. Hence, it is 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs which makes it so easy to remember. In those days, before muffin tins even came about, these cakes were often baked in hearth ovens using pottery cups or ramekins – hence the name.
While I was musing about the interesting story of cupcakes, I wondered, “What are the ingredients in the recipe of life?”. If we were to narrow it down to just 4 ingredients, what would they be? But first, we need to honestly think about what life is really made up of?
A large part of it, if you were to agree with me, is relationships. We are created to relate. Whether it is with the cashier at the supermart or classmates in school, we are relating. Life would hold no meaning if there were no relationships.
I couldn’t quite recall what year it was, but right after graduating from arts school, I remember being home, packing away my precious art pieces I had so painstakingly worked on during my 2- year stint in the academy. I was conscientious in making sure every art piece was kept under wraps and tucked neatly into the portfolio case. In the midst of it, I heard a tiny whisper in my heart and I knew it had to be God speaking to me. He said, “All these are not quite important. Someday, they will be gone. There are only 2 important things in life. One is your relationship with Me. The other is your relationship with others. Cherish it. Look after it. It is the only thing you will take into eternity.” Now looking back, I cannot remember the whereabout of those art pieces. I must have thrown them away when they became dusty and mouldy. But my relationships? Yes, I know where they are right now.
While writing this, I came across a touching paragraph I found on the internet and it goes like this: Let’s face it, we’ve changed, we’ve all changed. Somewhere between summer ending and school starting, we’ve all gone our own directions. Hearts were broken, friendships were diminished, and new loves started and new people came into our lives. We no longer spend all of our time together in our circle of friends; we no longer talk for hours about nothing at all. Some of us are finding love while some of us are trying to let go. Even though we’ve changed we all know that even though we’re all finding our own place in the world that when we find love, let go of a love, or when the tears fall, or a smile spreads across our face, we’ll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us and no matter what happens nothing will change so much that we are all not friends forever.
God has blessed us with family and friends who appear in different chapters of our lives. As you move along in your journey, you will discover who are the ones who really matter and those who never did (not that you don’t want them to but they chose not to) and those who will always hold a special place in your heart.
There really are no special ingredients in the recipe for relationships. Only one ingredient, however, is needed – love and lots of it. Because everything – patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – stems from love.
Love is the crux of all things. If you say you love but you have constantly disregard the feelings of others, then you have no love. If you say you love but you have taken your wedding vows lightly, then you are just an empty gong. In all relationships, it is more than having the right ingredients. You need a huge amount of love and patience to whisk the mixture to a right texture and bake them at a perfect temperature. Once done right, your relationships will end up light, fluffy and the taste? – magical!
Nancy Lee is the Creative Director of her own Graphic Design firm, Earth Communications. She is an avid movie goer and traveller, who loves to dabble with theatre, writing, photography and exploring recipies. She writes a monthly newsletter known as Earthmuse.