About Me

Phoenix, AZ, United States

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chocolate Lessons.

The store was slow, so I headed over to a local convenience store to pick up a couple of bars of Lindt Excellence extra dark chocolate. It's about 70 percent pure cocoa, which is potent in antioxidants and less artificial sweeteners/refined sugars.

I was reading the last few pages of Blue Like Jazz and though I had long ago read this book, I neglected to actually finish it because Don Miller meandered on how the pot smoking hippies he lived with for a time (a refrence from Through Painted Deserts) were more loving than his Christian community. Nevertheless, I found myself in tears as I finished out the book...

As I was enjoying my chocolate, I found two very different ways of consuming it. The first was closest to my natural inclination, to put a square in my mouth and chew it until the salivary amylase broke down the components...this provided an immediate release of flavor, but it was gone before I knew it. The second method was to place a segment on my tongue and allow it to melt from the 98 degree enclosure of my mouth...I found this to be a bit difficult because the food would feel rough and tasteless for a small amount of time... and then it would start to give way and over the course of a few minutes it melted to a rich velvet...

I had a discussion with a client of mine yesterday about instant gratification versus the delayed variety... Ravi Zacharias once said that there were two types of pleasures in this life, the kind you pay for before hand or the kind you pay for afterwards. I have always struggled with this...

Last night at Club, Dr. Kelley talked about sex... I think he's an excellent communicator and talks to the students with great accessibility like they are actually people, real people and like he's a real person, not another untouchable, high priest behind a pulpit.

Sex is a natural topic that emerges when we discuss gratification. It is one I've struggled with for most of my life... I have always been one to chew the chocolate. As a result, I'm a pretty broken person.

I started to think about life though... whether I chew it up or let it melt away... We are infinite beings in a temporal world... time is always of the essence...and so I've been thinking maybe we tend to feel rushed...but in the wrong way.

I advocate making good use of our time... as the Apostle Paul wrote, "because the days are evil." But perhaps we define what that should look like very differently... or rather we let this crazy society of ours define it for us...

I once heard a quote from a famous somebody who said "Keeping busy is wasting time..."

Why are we so busy? I find that there is little time in my life apart from work. But Jesus made so much time to "break bread" and party with people. And though there was wine served, I doubt they played beer pong and talked about sports or celebrity gossip... I'd imagine they talked...really talked, about life, God and the Kingdom, you know stuff that matters ...and I bet Jesus listened intently and then had radical things to say... Based on the gospels, it appears Jesus spent a great deal of his life preaching, healing the sick, praying and then hanging out with people.

I dunno, I've been thinking about the things that drive us... the seemingly inoccuous conventions of modern life. I have to wonder if Jesus would have put in extra hours at work to buy a larger house, a new car, the latest Ipod, a luxurious vaction..or whether He thought those things might be rather silly. I know, these things aren't intrinsically bad, and I I really enjoy my Ipod, but I'm starting to think they cost us more than money. They cost us our time, which is limited and passing us quickly... they take us away from people that need us...from the deep conversations we need to have with others... from tending to orphans and widows... from praying for others... from loving...they are costing us our very lives... I'm trying to picture Jesus at the sandal store... considering how many more hours he would have to work in order to afford the latest pair of sandals you know, the kind that make you feel like you're walking on water... I just don't see it happening.

"I want to break free" - Queen


Truth is I'm growing tired of what feels like an endless rat race. I'm tired of feeling like I constantly need to upgrade... my computer, my car, my wardrobe, my socioeconomic status.... I'm tired of trading in my time for these things because they take away time I might spend in loving others... in loving God...

8 comments:

timuthee said...

make you feel like you're walking on water.... HAHAHA that's a good one!

Joe said...

Yeah...I'm crying like a little girl and making Christian jokes...what has become of me? :)

katherine said...

I think this is one of my favorite posts...chocolate (even if it's dark) Blue Like Jazz and a finale filled with meaning and wanting to love people? Amazing

Joe said...

When you put it that way, it makes a lot of sense that you would understand. :)

Righteous said...

Nice parallels.

Joe said...

Nice body. ;)

Christy Marie said...

Beautiful.raw.real.

(The chocolate you mentioned is the best I've found to date. Yum. =)

And interesting...that Miller's admission that his hippie pot smoking friends were more loving than his Christian community made me read all the more. Perhaps because I've experienced similar truths in my life from time to time...

Fabulous post, Joe; thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Joe said...

Christy,

My response is untimely, but thank you for the kind words.

Yeah I have some amazing friends that are non believers, who are good natured, loving people...even a few pot smoking hippies :) and many believers could take some cues from them for sure.

But then again, I've experienced love that was so sacrificing and selfless from within the church (though admittedly a rarity)that I concluded it must be divinely inspired...and in my limited experience have found unparalleled in the world. yours, Joe