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Pleasure Dome Thunder BW

Bread Machine

Life is complicated, with scores of interwoven details to consider for the smooth running of a household.

Friday, 26 June 2020 — My impromptu decision to sleep in that morning jeopardized a well-intentioned plan.

The day before, my daughter had wanted to go out to buy bread. I told her to rather not, if that’s all she wanted to get. Instead, I would bake some. I reckoned that’s a double win: delicious, freshly baked bread without the hassle of having to drive to the store and deal with the Covid-19 social distancing protocols, relentless hand-cleansing, and face mask requirements.

Last night, I loaded our bread machine with ingredients for my modified 750 gram ciabatta recipe; I replaced one of the three cups of white bread flour with brown bread flour and swapped the olive oil with macadamia oil.

Thinking I would be up at 06:30, I set the machine’s timer for roughly 07:30—the countdown timer works relative to when you set it, so I estimated it—when I should already be awake to hear the beep and remove the loaf. Leaving the bread in the machine too long makes release from the baking bin so tough that—as a rule—I remove it immediately. That was the plan. The other plan was to have the bread cooled down for slicing by 07:50, when others on a work schedule start making breakfast.

I usually do early-morning writing. However, numerous consecutive days early to rise and late to bed had left me exhausted. After a bathroom trip at about 05:00, the decision to rather sleep in that morning resulted in me adjusting my alarm from 06:30 to 08:20. I hopped back into bed for nearly two extra hours of sleep—the bread entirely forgotten.

Unknown to my blissfully ignorant, sleeping self, those who needed bread for breakfast—those who would’ve purchased bread—wouldn’t even have a crumb. I was the one who operated the bread machine and they would be too kind-hearted to wake me, going without bread instead.

While enjoying the extended sleep, I was awoken by God saying: “Go take out the bread. It is now time.”

The moment He spoke, His Spirit imparted full knowledge of the detailed implications outlined above—things I hadn’t considered. Still under the duvet, feeling guilty for having so easily abandoned my duty for more sleep, I told the Lord how incredibly considerate He was. I braved the winter cold, donned my furry slippers, and shuffled to the kitchen. I didn’t bother checking the wristwatch in my wardrobe, or the clock on the dresser, or my phone. If God said it was time, then so it was.

While placing the cooling rack on the countertop, the bread machine beeped. Perfect timing! The hot loaf slid from the baking bin, leaving me more than pleased with God. He made me keep my promise to my daughter. He helped me cater for her breakfast despite my negligence.

If I was living alone, having a baked bread ready on this particular day wouldn’t have mattered. However, with others involved—people who relied on me—expectations would have been dashed, offense may have been taken, and relationships harmed, even just fractionally. I’m relieved such fallout never occurred and that my family enjoyed the fresh bread I had promised.

God woke me a few minutes before the bread would be ready. He knew exactly how long I would take to wake, talk with Him, get up, walk to the kitchen, get the breadboard out and the cooling rack in position. Once again I marvel at God. Not just at His precision and handling of the finest details in our lives, but mostly at His sublime goodness and loving kindness.