Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Room at the Top for Cream

Science is a rock star in our world. A giant presence filling in the blanks, solving the puzzles, reducing the riddles to cause and effect. Except for the mysteries still remaining: the room at the top for cream.

I had never heard that expression until Starbucks. And because I have almost always treated myself to a latte, I didn't hear it until recently. Ordering an ordinary coffee (I know, a little expensive for ordinary coffee), the barista asked me, "Do you want to leave room at the top for cream?" A little light went off in my mind. Shouldn't I always leave room at the top for cream? No matter what?

This question came on the heels of some other thinkering I had been doing lately. A combo of thinking and tinkering. Playing around with thoughts is a specialty of mine. Maybe that's why kidlit is my genre of choice. Anyway, as I get older it seems I crave more scientific evidence. More proof of things before I can settle down to believe them. Yet, that is a very unsatisfactory way to approach my spiritual journey, because the science is pretty scarce on the ground.

The Sunday before I heard the barista's question, I was sitting in church. I love the ancient liturgy, I love the hymns and the rhythm of worship. But that day I was attacked by, "yeah, but" and, "I just am not sure about that". I was busy trying to reconcile things in my mind when I got another little gift. A voice that I have come to believe is an assist from beyond (yes, I think it's God in my ear, and I love when it happens) said, "You don't have to get it right." Really? I don't have to get it right? What a load off! What a relief! You mean, I can leave room in my mind for the mystery, the unknowable, the true enigma/conundrum/riddle?

It's a temptation in life to try and control the plot-line. To boss the characters in your life by any means possible, including nice-ing them into doing what you want. That same control freak streak wants to have the cheat sheet. To know exactly what God has in mind, and not be drawn into the mistakes of seekers from the past. But, not only is that harmful to the spirit, it is impossible. What a relief it is to let go of all that (again, and yes again, and no-doubt again and again) and just allow the blanks to be filled in later. Leave some questions unanswered rather than settling for the multiple choice bubble you know is not quite right. Leave some room at the top for cream.

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