Monday, February 16, 2009

A Good Cup of Life

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” ~ Martin Fischer

Early morning is usually my best time of the day. It is in the first couple of hours after I wake up that interesting thoughts pierce through the fiber of my awareness as needles sharpened by the quiet hours of the night.

Yesterday morning was no different. I got up and went to the kitchen to fetch a cup of coffee, and found my husband already there. I gladly took the cup he handed me, my senses jarred by the pungent aroma of coffee. When I glimpsed inside the cup, I noticed the coffee looked darker than I normally would drink it, but said nothing and proceeded to take a sip. Not only did it look darker, it was also bitter. I asked if he had added cream and sugar and he nodded as he got ready to dive into the newspaper.

Determined to not bug him any further but hell-bent on having a good first cup of coffee, I stood up and added more cream and sugar on my own. I stirred them in and tried again…absolutely disgusting. The coffee looked pale as a ghost, and was entirely too sweet. I realized then that my husband had indeed added cream and sugar – he had simply not stirred the coffee after he did.

Similarly, when blessings and wisdom are bestowed upon us, we don’t readily see them or acknowledge them until we “stir” them into our daily lives and apply them to our individual situations. One thing is to hear something; another is to actually listen and learn.

Simple knowledge of a concept is nothing more than a handful of nothing if we don’t apply that wisdom to something concrete. Without integration, knowledge is suspended in limbo, and rarely becomes a part of who we are. It remains the ghost of a thought that will not incarnate without our permission, and will continue to hover over us until we actively choose to shift the lessons from being purely intellectual to practical.

We can read manuals on how to fly a plane, but until we fly one, we really don’t know how. Functioning within the realm of life is no different – we can read hundreds of books, or hear lengthy sermons, about peace, tolerance, forgiveness and unity, but until we choose to make those chapters of higher awareness a part of our daily lives nothing will change. Reciting Biblical passages on unconditional love will not make us more loving, if after leaving church we personally judge how much others deserve to be loved.

Wisdom and knowledge are the cream and sugar in our coffee. Pouring them into the cup is the first step, but the perfect flavor will not be achieved until we have made the effort of properly stirring them in.

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