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February 10, 2004
"You want me to hide them?" Q looks puzzled, and a little disapproving.

"Yes, please." I have just made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, Q's al-time favorite. I like them, too. But left to my own devices, I am liable to make a meal of oatmeal raisin cookies. It's best if I don't even see them.

"Where, in the garage?" I can tell he thinks I should be able to manage my cookie intake without this kind of help. And he's right. Of course I should. But I know myself.

"Well, don't tell me where, for heaven's sake."

And this morning, the jar of cookies is nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness. I had five cookies for dinner last night. Just cookies. Enough is enough.

I read that the addictive personality approaches most things in an "all-or-nothing" manner. That's me. It is much easier for me to do without something entirely than to try to be moderate in its consumption. I find moderation painful.

And, of course, I find that fact about myself painful indeed. Years ago, I stood up in front of a lot of people and promised a bishop that I would pattern my life in such a way that it would be a wholesome example to others. Wholesome. I hear the word, and think immediately of whole wheat. Sooner or later, everything comes down to something I can put in my mouth.

And yet. And yet...what I promised was that I would "pattern my life." To pattern something is to continue to work with it, to continue to shape it. We are patterning our lives right now, you and I, as we read and pray. We are letting words shape us. Some of them will shape us efficiently. Others, perhaps through no fault of their own, will miss the mark, and we'll have to try again tomorrow, and perhaps the day after that as well, a string of tomorrow. Some of our patterning may take a long time.

What we promise to do is try, to allow ourselves to be open to the patterning of Christ, allow ourselves to be shaped and molded. Cut, sometimes, if we need a bit of pruning. Formed. We don't need to start out a perfect example. We just need to be on our way.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cream together
1 c softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar or
2 eggs (or eggbeater equivalent) and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat well.

1 1/2 c.flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, mixed together

Mix well. Add 3 cups oats (old fashioned) and 1 cup raisins. Mix.

Drop by large spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a rack and hide all but two.
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