I have an issue with dough. Pie dough, cookie dough, pizza dough. Not an issue with eating it. Unfortunately, I am waaaay too good at that. My issue is with any recipe that contains the words, “Roll out dough . . .” I hate rolling. Hate. It. Seriously, any substance that glues itself to a rolling pin that tenaciously needs to have its edibility questioned.
But you know what I've discovered recently? You can skip this step. Really. I made gluten-free cheese crackers to mail to me gluten-free daughter recently (who, by the way, did not even appreciate them and mentioned the words “wet cardboard” more than once) and, in the place where it said, “Roll out dough,” I handily substituted, “Shove dough into pan and pat down until flat, or until it calls on its rights to refuse search and seizure.” The last time I made pizza dough, I followed the same substitution. And pie.
You know what? It worked. Now, I am not a culinary genius, and I will never claim anything that emerges from my kitchen will taste like Rachel Ray. (I mean like her food, not actually like her. Ick.) But I will claim this—I know how to decide what is an important use of my time kitchen-wise and what is not. From now on, rolling dough is on the list of “not.” Maybe my pie crust will never be flaky fresh or State Fair fluted-edge gorgeous. This is a trade-off I can accept.
It occurs to me this is a lesson I can use elsewhere. In the College/Career group I'm leading at church, we're going through Donald Miller's Storyline workbook. His basic premise is that we all have a story that is our own, and we all need to decide how we're going to make that story happen epically, not just coast along through life like a bike ride in a cute rolling meadow. Or like a bicycle ride down Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, depending on the speed at which you have no idea where you're going.
Deciding how to make your story happen epically means deciding where you are going, why, and how you're getting there. It means—cutting out the things that use up your time that don't forward that story. Don't mistake what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting we all go around thinking, Hey, if I want a real life, I can't have any fun anymore or do anything completely useless like checking Facebook or playing Frisbee golf, or reading pointless blogs because, darn it, I need to be business all the time 24/7 from this moment forth.
No. Fun is good. We need fun. Even occasional pointlessness. And we need people, even people who don't appear to serve much function because, oh hey, it's not all about us and we might forget that if we dispose of people who take too much time. So don't do that.
What I am saying is—we all know places we're spinning our wheels pursuing things that don't forward our story. We hang onto doing those things because we feel guilty, or attached, needed, or at least wanted. We feel we ought to do them. But they maybe could move to our “not” list, because they don't add to the story. They suck our time but don't feed our passion. We grumble every time we do them, but we don't have the guts to stop.
Stop. Stop rolling the pizza crust. Just stick it in the pan and move on. Really. It will be OK. You'll still be wanted and needed because you'll be doing the things God meant for you to do, and that makes you a great person to hang with.
What's sucking your time lately that you know you need to let go of? How can we help each other?