There is nothing like the smell of bacon frying. Especially in an old school black frying pan. There is a comforting, delicious aura that goes along with frying bacon, and all I can say is “thank you Mr. Pig, for being so committed”. So the smell is really amazing, and I go to a happy place when I smell it. But there is a flip side to this whole frying business.
When I open the package of bacon (and we buy seasoning bacon, which is ends and pieces, not strips) there is no wonderful aroma. There is no enticement. There is only dead, cold, pink and white meat. Nothing to recommend it. It is not fit to be eaten, and there is no desire to eat it. Interesting. It is the same material, but it lacks something. That something is heat. Heat is applied to the frying pan, which in turn is transferred to the bacon. The heat starts something of a transformation. The bacon goes from being essentially good for nothing, to becoming extremely desirable, attractive, and edible. I won’t say healthy. (Apologies to Dr. Harlan Beauregard of the Pork Council.)
There is something of a message there of how the real value of something doesn’t emerge until heat is applied.
Heat. Friction. Difficulty. Trials. Suffering. Agony. Disillusionment. Abandonment. Betrayal. Loneliness. Bankruptcy. Divorce. Death. Imprisonment. The fire tries all things, and brings things to the surface that are not apparent. In good ways, and not so good ways. So, the fire brings the wonderful qualities of bacon to the surface. The same is true of friction in our lives. If we handle it correctly. If not, we simply burn and become useless again. So there is a secret here.
The secret is that bacon has a flash point. It must remain on the heat for a certain, very exact time frame. To pull it off the heat too soon leaves the bacon in a limp, chewy, sinewy pink tangle. It is not appealing. It doesn’t taste good, and I avoid it when I see it. If the bacon stays in the pan for even 5 seconds too long, it is burned, and becomes too charred to enjoy. So there is a very precise timing to frying bacon. It must be watched, or it will burn, but it cannot be rushed. The heat must be steady, and the bacon must be watched. The watchful chef will bring bacon to the point of its maximum taste, crispness and smell, and then deftly pluck it from the pool of bacon fat it is frying in. The result is incredible. The bacon has a blend of sweet pork meat taste, along with a crust of crispy fat that is uniquely satisfying to taste. The texture is as wonderful as the flavor and the smell. But it didn’t get there by mistake. It got that way by exposure to heat for the exact amount of time. Not a moment too soon. Not a moment too late. Any stutter step here gives undesirable results. So what is the point?
The point is that your life is like that bacon. Heat (trials) are applied, and we are withered by it. It takes us from our fresh, untested raw state to something else. A metamorphosis that changes the material from one thing into a new, and better thing. There is the possibility of being on the heat too long, and becoming burned by it. When God brings release from the heat, we must let it go, or we become all about the heat, and not about the meat. God is after the meat of our lives, and His heat produces wonderful, beautiful results. To continue to focus on the heat after the trans formative work has been done is to become bitter, and hardened.
So, let the heat have its perfect work. Let the aroma of your suffering fill the place that you live in. And when it is over, let it go. Trials are unavoidable, but we must handle them correctly or they can make us bitter, angry, resentful and no fun.
And if there is any take away lesson I pick up from bacon, it is this:
Bacon is fun.
It’s not the heat. It’s the meat.