The finality of every culinary masterpiece is the topping that adorns it. Chefs from all over the world invest hours and hours in training and practice, in order to meet the needs of an even demanding world.  They carve sweet tasting sculptures that look too good to be touched, let alone eaten! In a bid to test their prowess, they take on orders from individuals and are able to sculpt the uniqueness of the individual’s personality, social preferences and even their dislikes into the work of art, creating masterpieces that are remembered for decades. A good combination of knowledge and skill, they say, usually does the trick.

Every man is born with a unique calling and grace, with each individual having innate abilities that, given the opportunity, would flourish into creative genius. While one is a culinary artist, another is a literary artist: creating masterpieces with words. What is common to all individuals is the breath of life. We all have a will and desires, giving us the ability to make informed choices. These can be developed or stifled however, depending on our circumstances and our environments. The power of choice has unfortunately become a privilege in today’s world due to prevalent poverty, slavery and lack of knowledge. Suffice it to say that several factors affect our ability to choose, regardless of colour, race or creed.

When a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, in most parts of the world today, it is as if a sentence has been passed: a sentence of isolation and exclusion from opportunities that others would receive. One with a physical disability often suffers a more sever fate. A man is not seen as worth his own if he doesn’t have limbs to stand on. A lady is not seen as beautiful if her eyes don’t light up her face. Any form of diversity that is novel or uncommon is often first seen as a disability or a disadvantage before it could eventually be seen as a ‘uniqueness’ that can be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. What is acceptable is one society is abominable in another.

The complex labyrinth called life can only truly be unraveled by the designer of the maze. Man often needs a higher power to gain access to the greatness that lies within. It is erroneously assumed that this higher power can be found in universities as professors, in sports as a coach, in families as a wise parent and in the market place as a more experienced colleague. The higher power is an external factor that, when connected to individuals, will empower them to rise above circumstances or situations that previously constituted limitations. This power is available to all men, freely but as man is a free moral agent, the onus is on us to choose which higher power we submit ourselves to. Our uniqueness, like the icing on the cake, can only be correctly sculpted if the artist knows us well.

When we accept instructions from teachers, mentors and counsellors, we choose to believe that we will gain from them and so we comply. We submit ourselves to them and take their word for it. Our higher power is the Creator of the heavens and the earth; the Eternal being who from eternity past, with all knowledge and skill, carefully sculpted each individual and put them in his labyrinth called life. Like a culinary artist, He carefully mixed the ingredients to produce a sweet tasting cake and has overlaid us with unique toppings. Based on our somewhat limited views, we often wonder at the icing on our cakes. We think that the creator must have made a mistake with His choice of topping and we go through life, disgruntled.

It is interesting to note at this point that masterchefs understand the contents of each cake and therefore know the weight of icing to layer it with. The designer of a labyrinth is the only one who can help you navigate your way through the maze and come out unscathed in record time. How ironic is it then that, we all attempt to waltz our way through life, following every whim that tickles our fancy and expect to end up fulfilled.

James 4:13-16 NIV

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

Without required knowledge and skill, no masterpiece is ever birthed. The scrolls of our lives often remain unopened as we do not seek knowledge and understanding from the Writer. Our uniqueness remains hidden; we are like diamonds in the rough. Precious though we are, undervalued we may live; just because we do not choose to gain a deep understanding of who we are, what we have and what we can become from the Artist.