Broken by the Toaster

Breakfast and Epiphany
OK, so the toaster didn’t break me. But it did remind me of my brokenness.
Home sick with a cold, I was berating myself for being away from work at a pivotal time. We’d just moved back into our new offices after a complete remodel; I’d played a key role in this challenging, important task. On Thursday, the day before we moved, I awoke with a horrific sore throat. Staying home on that day, or the next, was out of the question. By Monday I felt worse. I went in to work for an hour in the morning to address any critical problems, then returned home, frustrated that I couldn’t  remain at the office to continue chasing down the endless details that still required my attention.
I felt like I’d run a marathon and tripped fifty yards from the finish line.
The next morning, still sick, I wandered out to the kitchen, pulled out the toaster, and popped in two slices of whole-wheat bread. While it toasted, I refilled my coffee cup and fetched a knife, a napkin, a plate, and the butter.
When the toast popped up, annoyance flared within me, singeing my heart. The toast was too light! Someone in the household had reset the dial controlling the slots on the right side of the toaster to “5.” I always left the slots at the right set to “6.” The slots on the left were already set to “5.” I liked “6” toast; Rich and Ryan preferred “5” toast. Was it so hard to simply use the slots on the left instead of changing the settings? Or to have the basic courtesy to leave the toaster as one found it?
Buttering my toast calmed me. “Oh, well,” I thought, “Give some grace.”
I all but felt a tap on my shoulder as the next thought formed in my mind: “Give some grace? Maybe better to ask for some?”
“But I’m sick. I’m exhausted. It makes me cranky.”
“Oh really.”
That’s when I realized how unsurrendered my heart remains. Between the mini mental meltdown over toast and the excuse-making for my poor behavior, I was not reflecting His light that morning. Nobody heard my rant, but I ranted inside all the same.
God, I really do want You to reign in my singed, puny heart. I surrender to You. Again.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)


  1. Sometimes I’m pretty demanding too.

    Great post!

  2. Sometimes I stun myself with how particular I can be.

  3. Oh! Particular AND clueless! Thanks for your kind words, Duane–I left that part off earlier.