Jesus continued, saying, “How to describe the Goal? It’s like yeast mixed in 3 to 1 with flour. Before you know it, the whole ball of dough is rising.”
You need yeast to make bread, of course. But keep in mind that yeast is a germ. It’s a microorganism that multiplies feeding on the nutrients in the flour. If you let it go too long, the whole thing spoils.
Jesus, and those who heard him tell this koan, didn’t know anything about microbiology. But they knew that once it gets started in the flour, it grows, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, short of baking it. Everything it touches is affected.
Still, it might be useful to think of the goal of life (the kingdom of God, the fulfillment of the purpose for which you were made) as something like germs. How contagious are you? Are you growing? Of course, you could be growing too much or too fast, too.
Then again, yeast is something that takes hold from the inside. What is growing inside you that’s stretching and expanding you?
The amazing thing about dough is you can play with it, pull it in different directions, fold it over, stretch it into different shapes. When it gets punched down, it has an amazing capacity to rise up again, over and over. Eventually, though, you have to commit to some shape or another and bake it, for it to actually become something nourishing and do the world any good.
So take your time, stretch, grow. Then commit. Be something wonderful for the world.