Behold, a cook went forth to cook. And as he cooked, his household was nourished and satisfied, so much so that they went out into the highways and hedges and brought in the hungry and thirsty, and the house was filled.
But it came to pass one day that the cook discovered a cookbook. In this cookbook were recipes and menus, and also analytical charts explaining the nutrition in various foods. There were also beautiful pictures of succulent dishes.
“I will now step aside and examine this great book,” said the cook. “It must have great value, for it was published by a cooking school that trained the three greatest cooks in the land.”
So, he read in the book day by day, while feeding his household leftovers. He became so excited about the menus, charts, and pictures, that he wanted to share them with his household.
“My household is too large for all of them to see this book,” he said to himself. “What shall I do? I know what I shall do! I shall purchase an overhead projector and thus enable everyone to benefit from the wealth of material in this cookbook.”
So, he purchased a projector and began at each meal to explain where food came from what it contains, and how it can be prepared. His household became engrossed in the charts and pictures. Before long, they began to bring notebooks and pencils to the table instead of knives and forks. But by then, all the leftovers were gone and the cook had not prepared any new meals. The household spent their time doing nothing but discussing some new menu or analytical chart.
And it came to pass that the household started to become weak and grow thin. Yea, the cook himself began to lose weight so that he could no longer carry his overhead projector to the dining room. “I will make myself a dish such as I used to make,” he said to himself. And he did. As the aroma of the meal wafted through the house, the family gathered at the table as before, but this time they came with their knives and forks. Soon it was like old times again, as they ate and were nourished. The cook had great joy, as he saw the family gain weight and grow in strength.
And he said to himself, “Yea, this may be a fine book, but it is no substitute for a good meal. My household cannot thrive on menus, recipes, pictures, and the chemical analysis of the food. I will arise and go to my kitchen and spend my time preparing dishes that will feed my family.”
And he did; and the cookbook gathered dust on the shelf, while in the bookstores, it was selling like hotcakes.
Written by Warren W. Wiersbe
Originally appeared in Christianity Today
Used by permission. Not to be reprinted.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).