I love a good cup of coffee; A HOT cup of coffee. So why is it that I find myself with half a cup of cold coffee almost every day? I guess the answer is basic physics right? It is not automatic that the coffee stays piping hot without some extra effort. Just like that cup of coffee, my spirit so often goes cold.
Life sometimes gets in the way of our “hot cup of coffee”. We get caught up in the daily chores of life. In my case, I was truly challenged (and still am) through a nasty divorce and custody battle. I look back over the last 13 or 14 months of my life and see that Jesus was walking with me every step of the way. In fact, I can appreciate the words from the “footsteps in the sand” poem (http://www.judyn.trest.com/footsteps.html ). Maybe I forgot about Jesus, I swept him under the rug, didn’t fit him into my schedule, but he never stopped walking with me. In fact he carried me through my troubles. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Luke “…do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap…yet God feeds them. Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span?”(Luke 12:22-26). He reminds us: “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 5:3). Jesus walks with us, and with a healthy humility (poor in spirit), we can achieve anything, through Jesus. And while I seemingly “brushed him under the rug”; he never forgot or let me go. He didn’t stay under the rug long!
As I sat discerning what to write for my first article in over a year, I struggled. Should I right on the prodigal son, reconciliation, the Church? Of course, our Lord has a better plan than mine…A cup of coffee? God gives us the coffee, but we must drink it while it’s hot. If we don’t, we better take the effort to heat it up. Maybe this is a bad analogy- but it works for me. For so long, my coffee was hot in a sense. I was “fired up” for Jesus. The Lord gave me “warm and fuzzy” every time I went to church, prayed, or did anything remotely related to faith. It was so easy. The coffee amazingly stayed hot! Of course, as we know, it doesn’t work like that forever. As life got tough, and I seemingly needed the warm and fuzzy more than ever, it disappeared. I read that Mother Teresa went years with a spiritual “darkness” (http://www.motherteresa.org/layout.html). No warm and fuzzy for her. Our true strength and love comes from carrying our cross for and with Jesus with no warm and fuzzy feeling. I by no means am comparing myself to Mother Teresa. I am, however, gaining a new appreciation of what a mature faith is to be like.
Here I am, shaking off the dust of the last year of spiritual ups and downs. I am so grateful to have a loving God who gave us a Church that welcomes me back through the sacraments. No questions, no judgment, no hard feelings. The sacrament of reconciliation cleans the slate- and tomorrow morning, the Eucharist will strengthen me for spiritual battle! Go with God my friends, and remember that he loves you, he never turns away, and when he suffered on the cross, he did it for YOU! Commuter out!