What I Believe: The Parable of the Grape Juice

Had a moment two nights ago....and it's been on my mind ever since.

There's a project that Mr LKP and I have been slaving over for a whole week. (I wanted to have a post for it by the end of last week, however our plans were a bit foiled here & delayed there.  So you're gonna have to wait a bit more to find out the skinny on what has been consuming my life....I'm shooting for that post DEFINITELY by the end of the week...come Hell or high water-which is QUITE possible.)  Point is, add that project to my "go, go, go!" mentality + my inability to sleep = some crazy, delirium sprinkled with clarity for garnish.

So the moment I'm talking about was one of those rare ones of clarity.

It was about 3am when I stumbled away from my project into the kitchen to destroy what was left of the pitcher of grape juice I'd mixed up for dinner.  I could literally TASTE each full drop of refreshing, sweet juice with each step I took towards the fridge.  At the moment I was reaching for my fridge's door handle, I had the thought of "you know you should have some water" flash in my head. 

Pssshaw!!!...You better believe I laughed that thought right off the stage of my mind, as my insatiable heart was set on the richness of the glass of juice within my reach...another thought shot back at the practical thought, saying something like: "Shut it, Goody Two-Shoes!"

And with that, I opened the fridge only to find that my juice was GONE!

Pulling a Yosemite Sam under my breath, I located my trusty old pitcher (Pampered Chef Quick Stir ,which is a total gift from God in itself), another can of grape juice concentrate, and proceeded back to the fridge for the manna which is my fridge's filtered water-thru-the-door(Can-by-can, the tap is no match for my lovely Frigidaire!)

I filled the 1st can of water and dumped it in the pitcher without much thought or occasion.

While filling can #2, I found myself transported back to my childhood of this very same task (only back then we filled from the tap, mixed with the oldest, largest wooden spoon or spaghetti spoon we could find....all the while PRAYING that large lump o' frozen juice---which I always wanted a bite of, straight---would disintegrate before I graduated High School.)...there's just something about the sensation of the cool water chilling the can....not to mention feeling that chill rise up your hand.

By can #3 of water, I was feeling good cause I was right there, seconds away from washing a mouthful of grape juice heaven down my throat.

Remember the old Welch's grape juice commercials?  So do I.  (That's exactly what I was expecting.)

Instead, guess what I got out of it all?  This thought:  "My, that was disappointing.  I sure could go for a nice, tall glass of cold water though."

The water's all I really needed to begin with in order to be satisfied, or sufficiently happy.

Yes folks.  I thought I wanted richer abundance.  But once I had what I thought I wanted, I in fact did not want it at all.  I was thirsting for something simple, and perfect as it was.  It didn't need to be dressed up to be what I needed.

...And I'm not talking about never being satisfied. 

No, I'm referring to the fact that so many times in our lives we think we want bigger, grander, better...faster, stronger, more status....younger, skinnier, more fashionable...less wrinkles, less gray hairs (or MORE hair)...more pomp & circumstance....really, I could go on & on here.

Once we jump all the hoops to get to what we thought we wanted, what do we find ourselves longing for instead?  The simpler things.  (Not necessarily "the way it was before" as much as a more humble, more meek situation.  Where there's less maintenance required for us to sufficiently enjoy our lives.) 

I wished for the grandeur of the grape juice, when all I needed to be truly happy was the water.

That moment of sprinkled clarity taught me a lot.

It taught me that I should be happy with the straw I drew in life.  All my future plans are lovely in their own right, however they don't need to be BIGGER or BETTER for me to have happiness.  Sufficient happiness will be given when I accept the Lord's way...which is His will in my life.  By aligning my will with His, I will continue to grow.

Growth = progress = increased, yet still sufficient happiness.

And really, do I NEED more happiness than what is sufficient for me?

No.  Not really.

"...for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." (Mosiah 4:27)

I shouldn't hope for a more fandangled version of my life as I know it.
What I should hope for is that my sufficient happiness will continue.

When my sights are set on what I don't have, or my heart is filled with longing for more then there's no room left for the Lord.

"Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king..."  (Ecclesiastes 4: 13)
In that selfish state, I'm not able to offer more of myself to Him & His plan.  I can't see past the end of my nose.  My capacity to be happy with what He HAS blessed me with is then limited, and consequently I'll find I haven't the room to stretch and accommodate others' needs around me.  Therefore, I then have nothing left of myself to offer to His work.  In the end, I wouldn't have enough room to be blessed further, or for my happiness to increase.

(By plateauing, or not progressing forward there is still movement involved.  Lack of progress = regression.  In other words, not moving forward = only moving backwards....there are no placeholders in our happiness.  We must move forward in Him for there to be an increase in our ability to handle further happiness.)

So, from here on I'm planning to pass on the grape juice in life, and be satisfied thoroughly....or sufficiently happy with the blessing of water I have all around me.
"If we are poor, and have not as much as our neighbor possesses, do not envy him, and do not worry about it...There is an eternity before us,...and what we do not gain today we will gain tomorrow, or some other time."  -President Lorenzo Snow


Cherie said...

Keely that was beautifully written and very, very true.
I have found in my life that the simple things are always the best and the grand things slip away too fast and are often not as satisfying.
You are a wonder with your insights!!

Ann Marie said...

It's so great that little moments like " getting some grape juice to drink" become teaching and inpiring A-HA moments...

This was a great analogy.. and very well written..

jen said...

I'm actually experiencing this epiphany on a very grand scale right now, and you articulated it perfectly.

Garden of Egan said...

Very deep thoughts in the wee hours of the morning my friend.

I hope you do get some rest.

You are wise beyond your tender young years.....and I can say that with authority.

Love yer guts!

Lisa Loo said...

Well put and AMEN!

Lisa said...

That was beautifully written and ever so true.

erickson zone said...

Good insight! I'm experiencing a little of that right now, except mine's apple juice. :) Thanks!

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