The creative processes involved in constructing these masterpieces was beyond my comprehension. These were not merely bakers, they were artists. I found myself listening to the exhibitors stories, learning about their families and what drove them to put everything on the line for a chance to participate in these daunting events, and hopefully win. I had my favorites and I would cheer them on from my living room...ecstatic if they won, saddened if they were sent home.
I watched with bated breath as these artisans carefully packed and delivered their gingerbread marvels to the hotel where the exhibit was held, and ever so carefully placed them on the tables. Only then did the exhibitors take a breath. And yes, I had my favorites. I also had one particular woman who I hoped with all my heart would not win. Ouch! Sounds harsh? Well let me explain.
This woman had been a 3 time champion and had decided she wouldn't do any more contests. But, she got an idea and that's all it took. She was back in. At one point, after she had delivered her piece and was heading out of the hotel, she met one of the new exhibitors wheeling his piece in. The woman stopped and spoke to the young man, and proceeded to say, "You know who I am, don't you?" The young man nodded, I think he even mentioned her name. Well, the woman, barely listening, proceeded to tell him that she was the three time champion of this contest. (No humility there)
The woman then noticed a couple of the man's figures on his piece and asked how he made them. He answered that he used some kind of ginger paste. To which the woman announced, "You know who first created that paste don't you? I did!" This woman had a serious attitude. She was grand champion and she made sure he knew it.
Well, the time finally came for the winner to be announced, and let me tell you, the judges had some serious work to do. These pieces were phenomenal. The host called the top ten forward, and no surprise, Ms. Grand Champion, was one of them, smug smile plastered across her face. That smile quickly disappeared when the winner's name was called. Horrors! It wasn't her.
The young woman, one of my favorites, had created a whimsical woodland scene upon a circular pedestal. When the judges bent to see beneath they saw the intricate root system of the tree hanging down. This young woman when hearing her name jumped up and down and whooped with glee. The camera man quickly panned from the ecstatic winner to the three time grand champ. To say she wasn't happy would be a gross understatement.
After watching a couple more shows, one was Chopped, I began to pay close attention to the contestants attitudes. Some, even though they were incredible cooks, were extremely humble. They were hoping to start a business, or help their families with the winnings; they wanted to make their families proud. Others knew they were good and didn't waste time announcing their talent to all. They had this contest in the bag. They would be going home winners, no question. Time after time I noticed the braggarts would mess up in someway and be sent home with jaws agape. The quiet, humble chefs did their jobs to perfection and ultimately won.
The arrogant contestants on these shows should have remembered this lesson. Instead, they were served a heaping helping of Humble Pie. I wouldn't have wanted to be them and have my family and friends watch the shows, hear my bragging, watch me be sent home. Being sent home would not be bad, having my prideful, arrogance splashed across the big screen for all to see, that would be bad...at least for me.
To make a long story short (too late) Humble pie does not taste good. Jesus knew what He was talking about. Let us strive for humility rather than pride. Let us strive to be an example of Jesus and His love. Let us strive...