I actually started this blog two years ago. Then, like many writers, I needed a break to take care of myself. I came back this year as the pandemic hit. I think like many of us, I assumed the crisis would be intense but quick. In no time at all we would all be able to go back to “normal.” Reality has been slow to creep in. Reopening has been slow. Concerns over social injustice have intensified. Here at Platte Woods UMC we’ve been dealing with pastor transitions. Recognizing that no one knows what “normal” looks like anymore has created an atmosphere where my patience has worn thin, my humor is depleted, and my purpose for writing has been blurred.
So, I decided to go back to basics. I’ve reviewed some of my earliest posts. Suddenly I realized new readers may not know why I call my blog “Chocolate Soup Time.” And that story is a perfect one for uncertain times. Here is the story:
So, you may be wondering why the counselor who listens to other’s traumatic stories all week long has titled her blog “Chocolate Soup Time”? It’s related to a life lesson I learned just a few years ago. Spending time with God is not always a chore and it does not always have to be focused on the pain in our lives. Here’s how it happened.
When my grandson was barely two, his favorite activity with me was playing in a water table. He enjoyed filling and dumping and splashing and getting wet. One spring morning we were dumping and filling as usual and one of us started calling the water in our cups “Chocolate Soup.” We filled our cups with Chocolate Soup. We stirred it carefully. Then we pretended we were drinking it. As the water trickled down our chins instead of going in our mouths, he started giggling. His pure delight was contagious. Before long I was giggling and laughing with him. Nothing else in the world mattered at that moment but the pure joy of spending time with him in laughter.
The next morning, I sat down to write in my prayer journal. As I took time to shut out the rest of the world and focus on God, it occurred to me that God was just as delighted to spend time with me as I had been to spend time with my grandson. That thought changed everything for me. It took more than 50 years and a grandchild for me to understand the depth of God’s joy when we take the time to focus on Him.
Perhaps you’ve heard the story about how the disciples tried to keep the little children from getting close to Jesus. Jesus scolded the disciples and said, “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” Matthew 19:14 (The Message)
Take a moment right now to soak this in. Take a deep breath. And picture this: God enjoys your presence. You can make God smile just by spending time with Him. Breathe that in. Breathe out your stress. Breathe in God’s smile. Breathe out isolation. That’s the message Jesus came to bring us. God is with us always. We just need to take time to notice Him.
My prayer for you this week is that you are still able to find quiet time with God. Quiet time away from the noise of the world. Quiet time to soak in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit before the chatter and noise of the day slip in. Quiet time to embrace Jesus’ love for you. Chocolate Soup Time with God.