Put The Dough In The Oven

In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius marvels at “nature’s inadvertence.” A baker, he writes, makes the dough, kneads it and then puts it in the oven. Then physics, then Nature takes over. “The way loaves of bread split open,” Marcus writes, “the ridges are just byproducts of the baking, and yet pleasing, somehow: they rouse our appetite without our knowing why.”

We think, read, write. We might even talk to people.

At some point, we have to “put the dough into the oven.” We must turn the thinking and praying and talking into doing.

It pays not dividend to talk about helping others.

We put the dough in the oven by actually doing an act of kindness. Now. With whomever is near.

OK, maybe we can also send a check. That’s something, too.

Or call someone who’s lonely and despairing.

And that is pleasing to God.

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