Thursday, June 01, 2017

Something's Burning

I got done with supper not long ago. It was the first time I've used my microwave rice cooker which I just bought for about $6 at WAL-MART. It worked pretty good! The following story from December 13, 2009 is about I cooked rice with very different results!

Last Saturday night, awaiting the start of the Nebraska-Texas Big 12 championship football game, I began to make supper. I'm no cook but I can make brown rice and that's what I had on the stove. (I mix the rice with beans and some vegetables, in case you're curious.) After I started the rice, I retired to my bedroom to take notes on Revelation 12-22 for my senior class for the upcoming week. After awhile, I smelled something burning and discovered the rice was smoking; I had forgotten to turn the heat from HIGH to LOW for its forty-five minute cooking cycle. Just then, the smoke detector started going crazy. I quickly opened the front door, the sundeck door, and all the windows, while neglecting to take the pan off the burner. Eventually, I removed the rice from the stove top, the alarm quit sounding, and the smoke subsided, if not the smell. Just then, a neighbor appeared at my open door, concerned that there might be a serious problem. (A fire in a neighboring apartment is the neighbor's problem, too.) I assured him it was under control and explained about the rice. He and his mother were just eating supper- rice!- and he graciously offered to bring me a plate, an offer which I accepted. Their rice (and beans) were excellent and helped ease the frustration, if not the lingering odor of burned rice in my apartment. Last night, I tried again and this time, pulled off the same supper with no smoke and no alarms. Hopefully, I learned my lesson and won't disturb my nearest neighbors again without just cause.

It's a week removed now and my apartment has no leftover traces of smoke, or maybe I've just become accustomed to it. I sprinkled carpet deodorizer all over and that seemed to help. For a few days, I detected the smell in my clothes, too, although that might just have been the power of suggestion. In retrospect, it wasn't a terrible smell, just an aroma of burned. I learned my lesson- I won't be careless again, at least for awhile or maybe until the odor has completely departed my memory.

You know, I didn't mean to mess up. In fact, I tell myself I was doing the Lord's work when the incident occurred. That didn't excuse my inattention to a most important detail or instantly deodorize Apartment 3329. I tell my students that they are going to mess up and sometimes in a big way. They can be forgiven by their friends, teachers, parents, employers, and especially by their Lord but that might not wipe out the residual effects of their sin. The smell of smoke may linger in their lives long after the fire has been extinguished. It might be disguised as a scar, a loss of trust, a crippled relationship, or the end of a dream. Our parents and teachers always encouraged us to think before we acted. That's still excellent advice, even in an instantaneous world. For $3.00, I can spray Febreze to make my living quarters just like new again. Too bad there's no Febreze to erase the damages in the rest of my life.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.''

Mitch Hedberg

God bless, 
Luke 18:1
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