“Never in a million years!”

Photo of Graham Kerr in a costume on Galloping Gourmet

“Never in a million years!”

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Food For Thought?

Resistance: Have you ever been asked, by an authority figure, to take on an unwanted task; you did it and it turned out great?  

I simply would NEVER have taken on the task I was ‘invited’ to accept, never in a million years!

There I was, in a courtroom, being asked to take a man into our small flat (apartment) as an alternative to him going to jail. He would be, for all intents and purposes, under house arrest on a couch in our front room.

The judge wanted me, in addition to being his ‘host’, to provide the individual, who happened to be the most brilliant chef I had ever met, with an understanding on how better to administer his private dining club.

Having been ‘cornered’ to say, “yes judge”, I found myself making room for this extraordinary and talented culinarian.

On his first night I cooked the evening meal and he asked, “Is this the best you can do?” My response was, “No, but it’s as good as it’s likely to get.”

“Then I had better cook,” he replied.

And cook he did…really simple food, as we were on a strict budget at the time; it was so good, everything he touched was excellent!

I swallowed my pride and asked if I might watch. He reluctantly agreed…and then began, one sentence at a time, to teach me. He even became food ingredients…such as a grain of rice; he puffed up as the grain absorbed stock to make a Risotto…he was also an amazing actor.

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I learned from Robert to ‘experience’ what was happening in food as it cooked. I did this to explain long-grain ‘converted’ rice.

So…what about now?

That amazing turn of events was to equip me to do what I would become, my greatest success…to cook and perform on television.

Robert’s ability to explain what was happening within the food as it cooked by using his own body was both instructive and even hilarious, at least it was to me, Robert was deadly serious!

I look back on those days that were, at the time, difficult…to say the least, for both Treena and I and also Robert; and know that they were a vital contribution to my future.

I wonder if you ever had such an opportunity and were required to do something by an authority figure that you would otherwise NEVER have done?

Or perhaps you are being asked to do something today that you are resisting?

I learned from the experience never to say “never” but rather to wonder what this might mean in the future.

It almost always seems to threaten my ‘comfort zone’ –I don’t have the time or the talent or resources…and yet…what if?

Let me know…OK?

This week I am reading Treena’s poem Harvest Moon

So, please tell me in the comment section below:

Have you ever been asked, by an authority figure, to take on an unwanted task; you did it and it turned out great?  

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7 Comments

  1. Jean Says: 6:58 am

    Re: Lynn’s comment: Us too. Long story short – my husband and I were between houses for 5 months (which was supposed to be 2). We were new members in our church and I was serving in worship ministry. In needing temporary housing we had 2 large dogs not welcome by our family and thus we were stuck for a place to go. A single relative of our worship leader, not affiliated with our congregation, offered his place to us – total strangers on both sides. We were so grateful – trusting him because of his relationship to our leader. We struck a deal that we would do all of the household duties inside and out in exchange for free room and board. We put all of our belongings in storage and moved in. How generous of him. This turned out to be the most wonderful experience of our lives. Each of us working in our own gifts for the harmony of the household. I learned to relinquish all care for the things we had in storage for the joy of this communal commraderie. At the same time he in turn took in a family of 5 and another single young man. We were all of one accord. We worshipped together, we ate together, we nurtured the children together. This was totally out of the realm we knew prior to our desperate need. I will never forget it or regret it. This was 21 years ago and we still remain close.

  2. Jean Says: 6:44 am

    No – in fact, I think I was more like Robert – talented and seeking my own way. It’s a feeling you have inside that you know something different. You feel it as a visionary. Perhaps leading to troublesome circumstances but knowing it is the right thing for the moment. I’m sure Robert’s experience with you too had a profound effect on him – how sometimes we need to be kicked in the pants to make the good in us better. Thank you for your service!! Some of us are just naturally right-on. My husband is like that and I admire him so much for it – being so is so much easier.

  3. Graham Says: 8:27 am

    Oh my! This back and forth is beginning to work as I had originally imagined it might! Thank you all for your experiences that prove how habits can get in the way of change. We face a change, one that looks like a ‘loss of self’ on the outside and yet it turns out to have been a very positive decision? As I look back over the years of my life I see that, so many times, all I needed to be was…willing…and to move in spite of my own initial discomfort! This does, of course, fly directly in the face of modern philosophy that states that man’s nature will ‘pursue pleasure and avoid pain”. Yet, perhaps there is an ultimate ‘authority’ that can lead us ‘beyond our immediate self interest’? Let us fervently hope so, especially during times of transition like these!

  4. Lynn Severance Says: 8:22 pm

    In responding to the question Graham asks, I need to come at it a bit sideways.
    I was never asked by an “authority figure” to do a task that was unwanted. However, in the early 70s, I was encouraged to investigate an opportunity that some of my teaching colleague looked at and felt I was the “perfect person” to pursue it. One of them included my principal who might be seen as an “authority figure”. He was not demanding anything. In fact, he was so sure I’d be the right person for this job, he hated to give me the information for, as he said, “I don’t want to lose you!”

    Although not that sure, I was curious. The authority that ended up coming through and nudging me was the Holy Spirit. It was a gradual increment of steps, circumstances, timing and finally my surrender. I realized that something was going on beyond my comprehension and “confidence”. I said, “Yes” and ended up working outside my classroom teaching environment for two years in a new (to me) educational arena. I loved it. I loved the people I worked with. I learned new skills. I had experiences (and tons of fun) that changed my life forever. How I treasure those years and I still smile at how God worked to bring them to me – in spite of my initial resistance.

  5. Chef Leo Says: 4:33 pm

    Yes…the authority figure was a pastor I had in the 80’s. He told me he wanted me to serve on the governing board of the church focused on the evangelical ministry… being the church to persons who had or were having a rebirth experience one of accepting and engaging with a relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Wow! Me? Seriously? As I blubbered and babbled a bit I thought …I don’t think so I mean I Loved the Lord and yearned for Him daily for that daily bread …i mean I “liked” going to church for that…but to help others? in their relationship with Jesus?…I was constantly trying to help myself! The pastor then just smiled knowingly and said “Will you do it?” And I took the first step in being that obedient servant ,something I always admired about those “Called” ..and it was then that in doing nothing but being myself…being real…and being obedient…that I found that Our Father does most certainly “qualify the Called” . Something despite myself , made me into what I am….an ever so grateful servant…

  6. Melissa Erlenbach Says: 4:22 pm

    I love Jon Stevens response! Bingo!
    I have had too many unwanted tasks to count asked of me by a most beloved Creator. I learned long ago the experiences, no matter how hard or distasteful, have purpose and benefit. It’s my choice as to whether I yield or not. They may not even turn out well at the time, but they all have become preparation for something. The ingredients for something wonderful exist in everything we experience, it is just how they are cooked and presented them that make “far better condiments”. I have found a loving authority will always have our best interest at heart.

  7. Jon Stevens Says: 7:28 am

    I came of age in California in the 1960s. Authority was rare in my life then. The world of the flower child was as good as you think it might have been, though probably not as good as I remember it being. We managed to either ignore or avoid authority and drank deeply of the sweet cup of sin.

    Now I am finding I much more enjoy being under the authority of God than that of man. My cup runs over daily now, but it is the cup of joy and contentment…far better condiments than the sin of the ’60s.

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