by The Kids & Me Contributor Sheila South
I'm a lot like chocolate. I didn’t say ‘I like chocolate a lot’ which I do, I said, “I’m a lot like chocolate.”
Been attempting lately to learn how to temper chocolate for an upcoming project. Must admit even after watching many videos and reading thorough instructions, the process is eluding me.
To sum my understanding thus far, chocolate comes in an unusable lump and needs to be melted to be formed. In the process of heating then cooling, chocolate must be tempered in order to obtain the desired qualities of being smooth, having a velvety texture, achieving a glossy finish, having a perky snap, being able to remain solid and firm at room temperature, melting at a higher temperature, drying quickly, and releasing easily from molds.
Untempered chocolate in addition to lacking the above qualities apparently exhibits the unattractive qualities of being gritty and crumbly, having a streaked and dull surface, never being able to fully stabilize, drying very slowly, and remaining tacky to the touch from melting too easily.
Ok I’m convinced. Let’s go for tempered!
Don't know if you're drawing any conclusions here, but seemingly chocolate is very similar to people. (Just go back and read through the chocolate qualities, but this time think of the qualities describing a person.)
So, I want to be like the tempered chocolate. Those are the type qualities I want: when the heat is turned up, I want to be polished and poised in difficult situations, to have a positive attitude and pleasant demeanor, to be able to keep my cool and not melt at the slightest offense, to be able to release anger quickly and not let it stew into bitterness, and to be molded easily to this pattern set by Jesus.
Unfortunately, I have to go through the same processes the chocolate does to reach the state of being "tempered". I begin as an unusable lump. My sin nature with which I am born will never be able to attain the desired ‘temper’. I have to be subjected to heat high enough to discombobulate me, melt me, disrupt my very molecular structure. That happens when I face the undeniable conclusion that within myself there is no good thing. Romans 7:18 tells us “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
To become tempered, chocolate needs not only to be completely broken and crushed to be released out of its unusable form, but it also must be heated enough to reform its current molecular makeup and melted enough to be formed against a mold. In the context of tempering me, the circumstances of life and observance of the nature of man cause me to seek God. And I realize in seeking God my own insufficiency in obtaining the holy attribute of temperance. I must yield to His power to reform and redeem my sin nature.
In the process of being taken into the depths of cooling, chocolate must have the proper type crystals applied to help random molecules align in a fashion that will result as “tempered”. In the context of a person, those ideal ‘Type V/ beta crystals’ are actually the work of the Holy Spirit Himself planting within me the pattern from which I can build and grow unto His likeness. As the temperature is once again raised or the circumstances of life present themselves, I will either build upon that crystalline structure that God has called forth from me and bear good fruit or I will propagate the lesser desirable type crystals and yield an untempered chocolate.
Perhaps when the Bible says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), we should think about tempering chocolate? I know I have been!