When I was a child I remember my mother making an applesauce cake, which I devoured every time she would make it. Two years ago looking at childhood pictures, a craving for the cake came upon me. I called my mother to find out if she still had the recipe; but upon endless hours of searching, she could not find it. Although she was almost 90 years old, she still had a very good memory, and she tried remembering the ingredients, and their proportions. From her instructions, I attempted to make the cake; but to my disappointment, the result was not as good as when I was a child. I attempted to experiment with the proportions, but the results were worse. I accepted that the fate that I would never be able to make the applesauce cake that I so cherished; but last year upon helping my mom clean some of her receipts and records from the past 50 years, I found an old wrinkled and faded parched paper. On it was the faded ingredients for the applesauce cake. I took out my smart phone and proceeded to take a picture of the recipe.
When I went home that day, I quickly purchased the ingredients, and made the applesauce cake. A good feeling had come back to me as I consumed the long waited delight from my childhood. It was as good as ever! I write this story not because I truly love my applesauce cake, but because the actual ingredients are important if we want the end results to be perfect. I believe that this is also important in following instructions to build things, or even in following instruction that are in our sacred books to live a good life.
Let me give you an example of my religion. You may also find it relevant in your religion. About 130 years ago, my religion spread like wild fire in Japan. It is said that people were fervent in spreading the truths of God. They had the ingredients to live the joyous life in a special book called the Ofudesaki (Tip of the Writing Brush). The words in the book were said to be from God. People who doctors had given up on, were said to have been saved from serious illnesses. But as time went on, the religion began to lose its fervor. The number of people attending services began to decline. What caused this decline? The authorities in the religion, although having good intentions began to become less interested in following the instructions in the sacred book, but became more interested in ceremonial protocol, and their interpretation of the sacred book. As followers, many of the members of our religion became dependent on the authorities to tell them how to live the joyous life and how to share God’s truth with others.
But our religion does not grow like our sacred book tells us it will. Many of our members do not understand the book. Many have not completely read the book. Like the ingredients in the cookbook, we must follow these instructions in our sacred book if we are to save the world and live the joyous life. To those in our religion, I believe the ingredients to save the world are clearly stated in our sacred book.To those in other religions, the same may apply to you to follow the recipe.