Once upon a time, when I was trying desperately to be totally self-sufficient (well, not TOTALLY, since I did still buy flour) I purchased a noodle-making machine. My mother had always made noodles by rolling out the strips of dough and after they dried, she would stack them on top of each other and cut the little strips with a knife. I liked the idea of turning the crank handle and having it roll and then cut the dough into noodles.
As odd as it may sound, I was thinking of life; mine, yours, anyone's, while I was working on this endeavor. Perhaps we have some ideas or talents or dreams we have put in the back of our mental closets because every time we used them in the past, it was a miserable experience, just as my noodle making had been.
Maybe it's time to try again; using a new 'recipe' and just maybe, that recipe is God's word. If we read His directions, we will know what to do, even though, occasionally, they seem to be written in a foreign language. The lumps of dough are useless until they are run through the rollers where they are flattened. They are run through several times, each time being pressed flatter and growing longer. Our lives can be useless lumps of dough or we can allow God to stretch us and some times, even 'flatten' us so we will grow and be useful in the work He has for us.
When I said I was going to make noodles, a friend asked me if it is worth all the work. Some times we are asked if following God is worth it. I think the answer is yes in both cases. After all, the end results are what we are striving for; when making noodles and cakes and especially when following our Lord.