I made some for our breakfast the other morning, and as we all sat there eating it, I thought just how good a well prepared bowl of oatmeal can be.
It wasn’t anything like most bowls of oatmeal I’ve ever eaten.
It was like eating a loaf of artisanal bread…or a really fine pudding. It had qualities that went beyond the typical oatmeal that we usually avoid.
Something about the texture, and the perfect amount of half and half….plump raisins and brown sugar and cinnamon…each flattened grain distinct but cooked…fluffy.
I guess I’m bragging. It was an accomplishment. It is a skill I have.
Of course, its value on a résumé is non-existent. It really doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight out in the “real world”.
I can’t parlay my skills with oatmeal into great riches or the adoration of millions.
Its a quiet victory to make a bowl of oatmeal like that.
I ate my oatmeal in silent amazement…and thought about some of the things that we suppose that we understand, but that might be different in reality if we only could make the right comparisons.
We usually don’t have a “really good bowl of oatmeal” to hold up and say, “Oh…that’s better than I thought it could be…hmmmm….”.
All we usually know is the typical sticky glop that we eat because it’s “good for us”.
We think that we understand something as universal as love…but we don’t have the right comparisons.
I guess we work with what we do know…but I have a feeling that the truth would be pretty mind-blowing.
My love for my family is like a really good bowl of oatmeal. It goes far beyond anything that can be eloquently expressed. It is a surprise and a joy. It is better than I expected.
I know God’s love. I don’t understand it. I suppose that it’s bigger somehow than the love we share for each other…but I don’t really understand it very well, sometimes.
I don’t deserve it…can’t earn it…but I share it.
I recognize it…but I don’t always know it.
My feelings for my family are just a small taste of what’s to come. It’s something I can understand right now…even though I don’t always pay attention like I should.
I am not equating God’s love with a really good bowl of oatmeal.
I am not capable of making a Holy Bowl of Oatmeal.
My oatmeal is only an earthly pleasure.
But the mystery of it all is in the unexpected nature of the goodness.
Goodness is a possible surprise, wherever we live or what our experience is.
We are capable of surprising each other with an unexpected expression of God’s love…maybe like light through the cracks in a door…just the occasional sliver of goodness shining through when we can’t expect any illumination.
I’ve seen that before. People rise sometimes.
I wonder if God patiently waits for us to turn the doorknob….waiting while we fumble around and knock on the other side?
You know…it really probably was only a bowl of oatmeal. I did a pretty good job making it…it tasted good. It’s gone now. It’s been eaten. It’s over.
Maybe it’s smarter to just leave it at that.
Enough of this “God Talk”.
But, I have a feeling there is something that makes everything else in this world pale by comparison…something bigger to come.
While I’m here, I sure do enjoy a great…not just good…GREAT…bowl of oatmeal.
What a gift.