Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - July 15, 2008

A Sweet and Successful Error
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

“Taste and see that the LORD is good;”  Psalm 34:8

I have a new hero.  Okay, maybe “hero” is a little overstated, but Ruth Graves Wakefield is credited with inventing my favorite comfort food of all time, the chocolate chip cookie.  The story goes that she and her husband purchased a toll house that had been built in 1709 for the purpose of housing weary travelers.  In the 1930’s, they built on to the house and began serving travelers at the Toll House Inn, where Ruth’s incredible desserts were well-known.  One day, while making Butter Drop Dough cookies she realized she was out of one critical ingredient, baker’s chocolate. Whether she made the next decision out of necessity or ingenuity we may never know, but she made the now-famous decision to chop up a bar of semisweet chocolate and drop it into the batter thinking the chocolate would melt into the rest of the cookie.  Lucky for us the chocolate didn’t melt.  Instead, it held its shape but with a wonderful creamy texture.  Voila!  The chocolate chip cookie was created.

The truth is, many of the world’s best inventions started out as a mistake.  What turned these mistakes into successes?  Much can be attributed to the attitude, perseverance, and creativity of the person behind it all. Playwright and Nobel Prize Winner, George Bernard Shaw, says of making mistakes, “ A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” And Dale Carnegie said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way,” which is exactly what Ruth Graves Wakefield did.  She later began a professional partnership with Andrew Nestle, the candy maker who agreed to place her recipe for Toll House Cookies on the back of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate.  And, as they say, the rest is history.

Following Christ is often a series of sweet and successful errors.  Some of these errors will seem more bitter than sweet, but if we can understand that we are on a journey with Jesus, following closely to Him and reaching for the dream He has placed in our hearts, then we are right where we belong.  Yes, we might make a mistake or two along the way, but I believe the old adage is true, “It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.”

Going Deeper:

I am suggesting that far too many of us never step out beyond what is “safe” in order to taste what is “sweet.”  Psalm 34: 8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good;” Maybe today it’s time to take a risk and try something new; begin to seek the dream God has placed in your heart.

Further Reading:  Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 30:21

Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids.


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