I love to cook but it is not an easy thing for me. I find that often I end up angry and frustrated and nobody wants to come near me while I'm in the kitchen. It turns out there is a reason. There is a term that chefs use - Mis en place - that basically means everything in its place and ready. It implies preparation and readiness for whatever comes your way. That was where my kitchen work fell down. Fernando describes a professional kitchen as "always teetering on the brink of anarchy"... well, when I'm cooking in my very non-professional kitchen, it is anarchy or at least chaos. I hadn't planned things adequately and suddenly three things needed to be done at the same time and I didn't have the utensil's to do any of them easily accessible.
So where did I learn the term? I picked it up from Fernando's blog who picked it up from The Happiness Project. Isn't the blogosphere wonderful? Just being open and ready can take you to all kinds of wonderful places. And that is the point of mis en place. Fernando looks at it as a prerequisite for creativity. Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project is looking at the concept as it relates to happiness. It strikes me as critical for the Church these days. We're faced with rapid change, impossible social conditions, potential outside of our expectations, and the wonderful possibility that God is in the process of doing something absolutely new. We can't really be ready for "it" because we have no idea what "it" is. We can be sure that mis en place though... that we have done all we can to prepare, that we have the tools in their places and are ready to confront whatever comes our way. Then, when the unexpected comes, we can reach in the correct direction rather than panic. Then when we teeter on the brink of anarchy, we need not fall into the abyss. Then, God won't have to work so hard to bring about the new.