Preparation, Let Someone Else do it Poorly

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Last night I took two and a half hours to cook smoked chicken for the first time.  Prior to that, to make matters worse, I spent two hours picking blackberries while getting stuck repeatedly by thorns and nettles. All of that pain so that I could make blackberry cobbler last night to enjoy after the smoked chicken. This morning I had to go out into the garage and grind my coffee so that I would not wake up my children. After that I had to go in and make the coffee. I am also planning on cooking breakfast for my four kids and I this morning.

Last night when the sun went down and the temperature started to drop I went through the entire house opening windows and turning on fans. This morning when the sun came up I started to close all those windows in order to control the temperature of my house. Last week I went out to cut, split, transport, and stack firewood in preparation for making sure my expensive electric furnace does not ever kick on this winter.

Why am I mentioning all of this? Is it because it saves money to do this? Well yes, but that is not quite it. Is it because the quality of these various things is greater because of my investment? Again (I think) yes, but that is not really it. Is it because life is just as much about preparation as it is about execution? One last time, yes; it is all of these things.  A house that breathes fresh air is better for us.  A house heated by wood stoves feels better in my opinion.  Blackberry cobbler, smoked chicken, and coffee may not taster better than store bought but it seems like it because I made it and paid a quarter of the price for it. 

I am not stupid; I realize that some people because of jobs or other various time-eaters this way of life is not or does not seem possible.  I watched a five hour energy commercial the other day in which they pointed out to me and the world that we don’t have the time or the desire to make a good cup of coffee.  To you five hour energy people I say “Heck (because I am a pastor) yes I have the time show you that I am stubborn enough to not buy your product.”  

I am cheap, and dangit I don’t like it when people tell me I shouldn’t do something.  I really don’t like it when people tell me that I have to buy their product because I can’t do it better or faster.  I know that I am about one or two steps from moving up on a mountain, purchasing a shot gun and telling people and the government to stay away.  Until then, you are all invited to my house to enjoy a meal with me on my back deck that may or may not taste better than going to Safeway and buying it at the deli, but at least you can enjoy my company (or at least I can enjoy yours).