I learned something about yeast yesterday: it rises. A lot. Okay, so I already knew it of course, rises. But yesterday it went to another level. I was going to my family's house for dinner. I thought it would be nice to have some fresh baked Monkey Bread. My Monkey Bread recipe takes two rises, the first is 1-2 hours and the second is only about 20 minutes, after the dough balls have been sugar coated and placed in the pan. I planned on allowing the second rise to happen as I drove to dinner. I got the dough ready to pop into the oven, got my kids ready, and out the door we went. On the drive over, it occurred to me that the dough was rising a bit more than normal. The second rise is taking longer than 20 minutes, I noted, since I had to get the kids ready and in the car. Meh, an extra 15 minutes is nothing, I thought. It'll be fine.
When we arrive, I toss the dough in the preheated oven and awaited the deliciousness coming our way. It smelled great! So buttery and cinnamon-y. Hmm, maybe a little burnt too. A couple more sniffs, yeah definitely some burnt. I open the oven doors to peek at my glorious dessert, and smoke pours out. The next thing I saw is enough to make even the most advanced baker tear up. The puffy, fluffy, beautiful dough had continued to rise and rolled right out of the pan, along with my sugar-y glaze. The dough spilled haphazardly over the lower rack, sides and bottom, and the heating element. The sugar and dough was too much for that poor heating element, so it burst into flames. Small-ish flames. They were pretty easily extinguishable with a handful of salt. Alas, the oven was turned off and my delectable dessert was ruined! What a sad day.
Later that night, it occurred to me that this scenario can be easily applied to the Christian's life. Did you know in the Bible, yeast is frequently used to symbolize sin? The word for yeast in the Bible is leaven. This is why God told the Israelites to eat unleavened bread, to remind them they are to be set apart from the world, to strive to be without sin (Exodus 12:15). When we take the Lord's Supper at my church, we eat unleavened bread, to symbolize that we should not allow sin to take part in our lives.
See, give yeast just a little bit of time in my Monkey Bread and it creates a delicious, desirable dessert. Pretty harmless for one helping, right? There's nothing wrong with having dessert. But, when I let the yeast fester for too long, it continued to cause the dough to rise, which spilled over into the oven and created a fire. If we hadn't got the fire put out, it could have been detrimental. The same thing can be applied with sin. A little bit of sin seems harmless enough, yeah? A little drink here, gossip there, flirting is no big deal. Probably nobody will even know. This is a dangerous, yet very easy, mindset for Christians to fall into. We must be mindful to not become accustomed to sin and let it fester in our lives, for it will surely result in fires, big and small. I can tell you this, because I've been there. Let us not fall into the trap of worldly desires.