"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Heaven—In a Cup

By Micky Wolf

No, contrary to belief among those who know me, this post is not about that delicious, first mug of freshly brewed, steaming coffee as the day begins to unfold.

No, fellow traveler, this is about a little bit of heaven delivered in a round, colorful paper cup with a spoon. Savoring a serving of this ice cream is a thrill to the taste buds. Each bite stirs deep gratitude for the creation of such a blissful fusion of flavors. Then again, if you don’t fancy dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate covered raspberries enveloped in a pure, creamy bath of vanilla, this may not be high on your list.

Upon returning home from vacation several weeks ago, I decided to see if this treat was available in our area. After all, hopping in the car for the fifteen hour drive to Maine does present a variety of challenges. Sadly, not a spoonful to be had, however, I did discover a couple of things in the process of trying to find a more local supplier.

Interestingly enough, the general definition of Heaven means very pleasant or good.

Heaven is for real, and nearer than we think…

It can be too easy, especially with all that is going on in the world, to believe Heaven is for those who have lived mostly saintly lives and passed over—or, at the very least, exist in a state of being associated with some kind of cloud level, day-to-day, mature spiritual life.

On the other hand, my sense is Heaven much more likely to be found in the midst of our daily experiences—particularly when we are open and receptive through our five senses, our thoughts and our emotions.

If a big scoop of ice cream meets those criteria, who’s to say God isn’t part of it? After all, the ingredients are His idea, His work, His choosing to create that which “is good”.

By any definition…

The creativity of God is beyond our comprehension. From the variety and extent of the tiniest cells to the depths of an unfathomable sky, His creation can dazzle and inspire our hearts and spirits beyond words. If. We. Will. Open ourselves and notice.

My beloved is not nearly as keen on dark chocolate and raspberries as I am, yet hand him a cup of caramel laced vanilla stuffed with cashew pieces and he will be silenced into a munching state of reverie.

If savoring the flavors of a sweet treat seems a bit trivial in the bigger picture of being Christ-like, adult, and responsible, then maybe it is time we step back and reconsider Jesus’ admonition to “be as little children.”

Now is later…

One of the things I would have told my younger self—had there been such an opportunity—would be to appreciate each moment, especially those which bring delight and joy. (Which is not say we are not to be thankful for the other kind, but that is for another post.) Now, for the irony: in this moment, I am my younger self. Yes, for in the next one moment, I will be ‘older’.

Confusing? I hope not. Because if God desires anything for each of us, it is that we learn how to more fully live in the moment. Which is why I lingered over every spoonful of that special ice cream. You see, joy can be sustained within the depths of our spirit long after the experience itself—if we choose to appreciate it as it unfolds.

Keeping it simple is more than an acronym…

If Heaven—or heavenly—is what is good and pleasant, then maybe it comes down to a state of being, whether we are here, or dwelling in the hereafter. Why? Because what is good and pleasant for you may be very different for me, but what unites us and keeps us on the Christ-like path is remembering that all that is good and pleasurable comes from our Creator God.

If He created it, it is good. If we disallow or abuse it, not so much.

So, dig in. Enjoy. With every sense, thought, and feeling. And always, always, remember to be grateful. 


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