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Behold, a certain young maiden did oft times and at strange hours greatly desire a pizza. This would often happen in the second or the third watch, when home delivery was not available. At such times there would be much weeping and gnashing of teeth because she could not have the desire of her heart.

And so she spake thus with herself: "If I would but learn to make my own pizza, then when the desire cometh upon me in the night hours, I shall be able to have pizza straightaway, without waiting for the pizza merchants to re-open when the cock croweth."

The following day she sought out the school of one Papa Giuseppe, who gave instruction on the making of pizza.

The maiden had not long been in the presence of her new Master before she learned that a pizza base consisteth wholly of flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar. Because she was loathe to wait continually upon her Master, for the many hours of study that he required of his disciples, she departed from his presence straightway after hearing of the ingredients.

When she was in her own home, she did search until she had found all of the necessary items, and she put an equal measure of each into a large earthen vessel, and did eat from it.

"Pshaw!" she exclaimed, as the ingredients spewed forth from her mouth. "The truth is not in my Master," she reasoned with herself. "This food tasteth badly of salt and yeast. I will go to him and remonstrate him for his deception."

"I have not wronged you," said the good Master when he had heard the maiden's story. "If you had continued steadfastly in my word, like my true disciples have done, you would have learned the correct measure for each of those ingredients."

The maiden was humbled beyond measure by this new revelation. "Surely, I was too impatient with Master Giuseppe," she said. "I will return to his class a second time, and hear more of what he has to say."

And so she listened once again to the words of the great pizza maker, until she was fully instructed in the ways of weights and measures.

She did hide all these things in her heart (and on the notepad in her laptop computer), after which she made haste to leave the classroom and return home once again. There she made use of that which she had learned from the Master. Her weights and her measurements were without equal throughout all the land.

But lo, her labours failed yet a second time, for that which she produced was of the nature of silly putty. It did take the shape of whatsoever vessel wherein it had been placed. "My hand runneth over," she said upon trying to pick up a piece of the pizza. And upon biting into it, there was not the familiar crunch in which her soul had taken such delight in days gone by. Instead, her mouth was filled with softness, and the taste was that of the glue which the scribes do use when binding their books.

She returned to her master, greatly distressed, and did enquire as to why he had taught her such untruths.

"But I have not misled you," said the kindly Giuseppe. "The mixture must first be cooked, before it is meet for human consumption."

Alas, the poor maiden was humbled yet again. Nevertheless, though she returned many times to the Master's feet, each time she learned a new truth, she believed that she was his equal, and that she had no further need to learn from him. Because of this, her learning was painfully slow.

Now there were certain other foolish students like herself, who hurried off to try what they had learned from Papa Giuseppe as well. But when their "pizzas" fell short of the glory that they had so desired, they cast aside all hope of making pizzas and returned to peanut butter sandwiches instead. Their hearts became hardened against the good Papa, and they blamed him for their failures, when it was these foolish students themselves who were the cause of their own problems.

Our young maiden was foolish for not being faithful in her attendance at the pizza-making classes; but she was less foolish than her equals, because she returned to learn more when her own understanding failed.

So learn a lesson from the foolish young maiden. Follow your Master faithfully, and do not stray from his side until you have hidden in your heart all that he hath to say.

And learn likewise from the wisdom of the foolish young maiden. For, if you should stray from the way, do not heap scorn on your Master or those whom he may have used to show you some small part of the truth. If your efforts fail, return to him and learn again the hidden truths that can only be learned by one who is of a broken and a contrite heart.

Note: I don't often write "cute" articles like this, because the style can so easily blind people to the message. The message is a serious one. Denominationalism grew from people running off with one truth, and using it as an excuse to scorn those who possessed other parts of the truth. And atheism has grown from the tendency to blame God for our own finite understanding of his will. All who wish to develop into true leaders must first learn how to follow, and to wait patiently for the right time to step out.

(See also Truth in Isolation.)

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