floating on an ocean of chocolate

Seldom will you come upon a topic, whether of great weight or little consequence, that will engender universal and complete agreement. Paradoxically, the one and only subject upon which there may be near total agreement is that disagreement can and will be expressed by someone on virtually anything and everything.

Life Sustaining Food

Life Sustaining Food

It is often the smallest, most trivial of matters that generate the most intractable of disagreements.  There is an idiom often associated with this phenomenon which states that one cannot see the forest for the trees, indicating how we all too often get caught up in the minutia and lose sight of the bigger picture, the truly important stuff.

For example, should I suggest that the color of the text on this page is black someone will, with near certainty, offer that only some of the text is black because there happens to be a few characters in green. Indubitably another will subsequently respond that both statements are, in point of fact, incorrect, that most of the text is some shade of dark gray that merely looks black to the reader’s eye and that those characters that look green ought to be more accurately defined as some percentage or combination of the primary colors of red, green, and blue.

Meanwhile whatever message the writer intended to express has been completely lost or forgotten due simply to some trivial and completely unimportant disturbance in the force.

This malady appears to be inherent in our nature; it would seem that no one is truly immune although some may be better inoculated than others. Remaining focused on what is truly important is often difficult; the degree of difficulty inversely proportional to our susceptibility to be sidetracked or distracted. Let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to keep our “eyes on the prize” when we are floating on an ocean of chocolate!

Visualize for a moment an enormous table placed at one end of a large room, heaped high with mountains of the most nutritious, delectable life-sustaining foods imaginable. You are hungry and as you stand at the doorway opposite the table the aroma emanating from it is overwhelming and your mouth is salivating at just the thought of filling yourself with all that wonderful food. All you have to do to satisfy your hunger is walk across the room to that table, but…in order for you to reach that table you must first traverse the room and it is filled, floor to ceiling, with empty pleasures, delightful baubles, sweet candies, and intoxicating substances that will entice you with their irresistible temptations. You are fully aware that indulging in these enticements will instantly, though only for the briefest of moments, satisfy your hunger. You are equally aware that you cannot live for long on their vacant calories; their alluring song masks their true nature, a slow painful march toward starvation.  Only the table across the room can provide you with what you need to live and it is a short walk if only you can keep your “eyes on the prize” and ignore all the distractions along the way.

Some might suggest that there is no such table in the room. How sad to think of life that way. I firmly hope that we can all agree on that.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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