Since 2005 I've made several attempts at starting up and maintaining a blog. What you're reading now is the latest, and to date, most successful attempt - successful in terms of having a definite vision and purpose. Today's post was originally written and put up on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at this same URL, but before the blog's mission was defined. To a few of you, this is old hat; to others, this is brand new; to all, I hope you find it edifying and enjoyable.
Sunday - June 19, 2011
I believe it was three weeks ago to this day. It was Sunday morning and I came in to church for Sunday School (if it’s a class that takes place before the service, it’s Sunday School, Godbless it) and I was still a bit groggy… “Groggy?” Hmmm, I think I just made a mental connection before I’ve even gotten to my main point.
I sought out coffee from the church’s coffee bar. There are typically 3-4 pots of different brews, each a variant of more than just “regular” and “decaf.” On this particular Sunday there was a brew labeled “Highland Grog.” I thought to myself, “What a clever name! Coffee’s always notorious for being bad, and the worse it is the more effective it is in waking you up! Verily, verily, here is a brew embracing that notoriety!” (I was operating under a paradigm I adopted from mid-1980s pop culture – specifically Garfield (And in church you gotta say “verily, verily” at least once every fortnight, but only if you’re going for real, ultimate holiness)). Thing is, about halfway through drinking my cup of grog, I discovered I really enjoyed it. I mean, it was tasty. As Uncle Andrew says of Jadis in The Magician’s Nephew, this was a “dem fine” cup of coffee.
So then, that afternoon following the service I came here to my new favorite Columbushangout spot, Scottie’s Coffee and Teahouse. Trying to stick to a budget, I decided to go for the normal brew rather than an espresso drink and to my surprise and delight I discovered they had the same brew - Highlander Grog! “Surely the LORD has smiled upon me this day in providing this tasty, caffeinated delight!” I thought to myself (on Sundays you always think in Bible verses – but only on Sundays lest you want to risk people looking at you funny). After my first cup I thought that perhaps this was just a seasonal flavor.
The next couple of times I visited Scottie’s I made the Grog my drink of choice. Afraid I only had a limited time to partake of this roughly-named, lovely brewed…brew…I asked the barista about it. Turns out this is a very popular flavor, in high demand, and it’s been around at least as long as belly button lint. “Oh,” I said. Then I returned to my table.
So I hadn’t discovered anything new. I came to this country of taste thinking I was the first only to find a sign saying “Magellan wuz here, yo.” It had been here all along and I had never seen it. I had never been open to it. I was just set in my mocha-swilling ways and right comfortable. Only when I was jolted out of my comfort zone did I open my mind to new avenues of coffee goodness and discovered the joys of the Highland Grog.
I’ve been having a similar experience with grace. Grace has been here all along, but I’ve been comfortable in my ways of works, in my ways of earning the approval of my peers and friends and family, never really tasting the goodness of being liked, loved and appreciated just as I am; with my friends, my peers, my family – and with God. But then I’ve been jolted out of my comfort zone and all I can afford is the grace “brew” – and that’s cuz it’s free. The resources I’ve spent on trying to earn an approval that’s been available all along could have been going towards, I dunno, building a life, pursuing a dream, you know, stuff like that. But now that I’m acclimating myself to this good stuff, I can start putting my resources toward those thingsnow. I reckon it’s never too late to get a move on so long as I still have something to move! …and I do like to move it, move it.
How about you? Are you still spending money on the espresso of earning approval or have you tried the grog of grace? If you can’t find the grog in your current vicinity I suggest you try a new coffeeshop.