Rice is one of those foods that you should never cook on an empty stomach.  If you do, you tend to rush it.  When you rush the process, you end up with a pot of partially/hard cooked rice—Rice Al dente.  There are two ways to derive al dente rice: adding too little water or turning up the fire too rapidly.  Al dente rice is hard, gritty, and frankly, doesn’t quite hit the spot.  It’s difficult to retroactively correct rice that has already been cooked al dente.  It’s hard, not impossible.  In order, to rectify the mistake, the key is to add more water, and turn down the heat.  Here is the other key—patience.  Correcting al dente rice is more frustrating and time consuming than making rice that was cooked according to the proper specifications.

At times, many of us Christians live Al Dente Spiritual lives.  We want a life that is soft, fluffy and free from grit, but we either have too little water or we crank up the fire in an effort to expedite the refining process.  Jesus said the water He will give us will give us life eternal (John 4:13-15).  However, if we have too little water (too little Jesus), we end up hard and unrefined.

The other element of al dente rice is rapid fire, and rapid fire seldom yields the desired outcome.  For example, whenever silver is refined, the temperature has to be precisely gauged to yield the correct product. God does not refine us with fire, but he refines us with the “furnace of suffering,” (Isaiah 48:10).  If we try to rush the process (trying to work on our own accord), we become unrefined—unfinished products.

The principle of al dente rice also applies to our blessings.  Whenever we rush our blessings, we end up with blessings that are short of perfect and not as edifying.  Having an al dente life versus a life of fulfillment is simply the difference between settling for life’s good versus waiting on God’s best.  I’m sure the par cooked blessing is great and could probably quell our hunger, but it’s not as satisfying as the finished product.

Even though al dente rice can be corrected, very few of us will go back to rectify it because it takes too much time. It’s too difficult.  We push past the gritty texture and resign to semi-fulfillment.  However, I refuse to live an al dente lifestyle when God has promised me the same land that He promised my ancestors—a land of milk and honey.  The truth is, in our spiritual lives, we are never just waiting on the manifestation of a blessing.  We are always waiting on God, whom, in all my experience, is worth the wait.