I had to venture out recently to buy ink cartridges for the printer. To my credit I remembered to bring back the ink cartridges along with a coffee machine which was on sale right beside the check out.
I arrived back to the parochial house and like a child I was all delighted as I brought my bargain into the kitchen. When the housekeeper spotted the package I noticed the roll of her eyes. Next the interrogation began:‘What did you buy this time?’ Hardly able to contain the thrill of getting a good deal I quickly opened the box and set up the machine, ignoring the instructions. I’m sure it was a simple matter of filling with water and allowing the machine to do the rest. In the end I admitted defeat and had to read the manual. The first step was to fill the coffee maker with water and once filled and re attached I watched the red and green lights flick on and off. I was doing reasonably well until my bubble was burst by the house keeper who pointed out that I didn’t really drink coffee. But what did this matter when you had a bargain. Then I was told if I was looking to make coffee I needed more than water and if I had read the instructions I would have known to buy coffee pods. The coffee was purchases and in an effort to prove I am a coffee drinker and the machine isn’t a waste of money I have been trying Americanos and cappuccinos - the only problem is I haven’t slept in a fortnight.
There are areas in our lives when we need to accept we can be naïve or gullible, especially in our relationship with God. Dealing with everyday issues, we learn from experience and through our interaction with one another. Yet in terms of faith we often only ever scratch the surface. Most of us live out images of God we learned as children and these dominate and shape our prayer. There exists the temptation to understand God as the one who is out to punish our mistakes. Another temptation is to believe in a wishy washy God who is so remote and airy fairy that God becomes no more than a ghost. Yet in scripture we discover a very different God revealed in Jesus Christ. A God who is a loving Father who wants to reach out to his children. God wants to be involved in our lives but often we run away because we know it will involve change as we’re challenged to become like the one who loves us. The biggest challenge at times is overcoming our pride and independence. We can find it difficult to surrender our lives to God’s will. Ron Rolheiser this week reflects on reading Eric Clapton’s autobiography. The guitarist and singer describe his battles with drug and alcohol addiction and how at his weakest he discovered God. Clapton explains true wisdom in these terms: ‘You are never more of a mature adult than when you get down on your knees and bend humbly before something greater than yourself.’