Our pastor preached today on hitting “the pause button” on life, taking time out to reflect on who God is and who we are in Him. He based his points off the times in Mary’s life when she would treasure divine moments and “ponder them in her heart.” We’re to stop and reflect on blessings, on hardships, on nature, on experiences, and on God’s words, but our cultural tendency is to run so fast through life that we just miss seeing it. The challenge to us today was to slow down enough that we don’t miss it when God says, “Stop. Look. Learn from this.”
He told a story while he was teaching that I don’t want to forget – he said his daughter came barging into his office this week, threw herself down on his couch, put her feet up on the coffee table, and asked to raid the candy stash in his desk drawer. Initially a bit annoyed, he quickly realized that God had something to say to him in that moment – his daughter knew she had the right to come in without knocking, to make herself at home in her daddy’s office. And God said to him, “You’re my son, and yet you hesitate at the door…”
How often do I hesitate? How often do I think that for the following ten reasons, God wouldn’t be happy if I interrupted Him just now? How often do I think that I need to clean up my act and be all organized when I walk into His presence? How often do I enter formally, with an agenda, instead of just tumbling into his throne room? How often do I miss His invitation to pause and reflect on His goodness to me?
I’m doing homework this afternoon (can’t you tell?) and when I hit a tired spell, I took a break for a piece of peppermint pie and a cup of coffee. Christmas is absolutely my favorite holiday (you not only get presents, you get to give them too) – and there are things about the Christmas season that are unique to this time of year – rituals, I guess you would call them, that I treasure: Listening to Christmas music. Decorating my flat. Reading Christmas stories. And candy cane pie.
Candy cane pie is a new tradition for me. Once it was an occasional privilege if I happened to be in Chicago around the holidays. Now that I live in the Chicagoland area, it is tradition. Baker’s Square proudly states on the side of their pie boxes that therein lies the best pie in America. They’re not kidding. Their candy cane pie, available only for a limited time each year is something I might seriously consider… well, maybe not dying for, exactly, but bodily injury might be a possibility. I mean, if a candy cane pie were in danger of being squashed by a semi, and I knew for certain I would live through the experience and get to eat the pie, I might be tempted to dive out into the road to rescue the pie. It’s the kind of pie that when you’re home alone, you lick the knife and the pie server, and when you’re done with the more than generous piece you just finished, you lick the plate clean, too. (When you have company, you just scrape the plate as clean as you can about four times over, just to get every last bit you can while still being civilized.)
The perfect complement to peppermint pie is a fresh cup of Gevalia’s Royal Vinter coffee. It’s the best coffee in the world, in my opinion. (The Christmas blend from Starbucks is a close second.) Sharing is something I suddenly find quite difficult, when it comes to this coffee and to candy cane pie.
So here I am, sitting down to candy cane pie and Royal Vinter, and all of a sudden I realize that I’m half-way through my slice of pie and I haven’t really been paying attention. This is the first piece of the season, and I got so caught up in my mental list of things I needed to do, that I forgot to enjoy it. That’s just sad.
However. The comeuppance has taught me that there can be a new dimension to my Christmas tradition. Beyond just enjoying the experience of eating this amazing pie and having a cup of coffee – I can choose to stop. Breathe. Completely focus on the moment. And be thankful.
Somehow, I think the second piece will be even better than the first.
Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.
A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.
Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.
"If you focus on what you left behind, then how can you see what lies ahead?" —Chef Gusteau, "Ratatouille" via @momentumdash
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Brooklyn is nothing like the Midwest. Sometimes it feels like a foreign country. ow.ly/ZJyp30dfHXw