I couldn’t fit a favorite mug properly in the bin for our Christmas Mugs. And I was not unhappy to keep that funny reminder of the holidays eye level throughout the winter. Doug’s sister gave us a pair of these sledding bears years ago.
Polar bears and owls are among my favorite “art” animals. Llamas are edging into my affection because other people I love like them; as have been Kola bears.
But, I digress.
This post is about the bittersweet lessons my favorite mugs often teach me.
A few years ago, when I saw the coffee puddle I thought I had splashed out some coffee when I set my favorite mug down. A few minutes late, by my computer when I saw coffee seeping around the bottom of the jolly old mug, I thought, uh-oh. But no cracks were apparent.
So, I set the mug – faithful morning companion for three decades – on a crisp paper towel while I went for my morning walk. Returning, I saw the stain that convinced me the crack was real, though imperceptible.
Having watched one too many cable shows on the folly of squirreling away treasures, and knowing the limited cabinet space in our home, I know what I must do.
A tiny crack ruined a thing that has brought me so much pleasure for so many years.
Then I thought about how so many seemingly small fractures in my soul, and in others’, have rendered too many relationships as ruined as my cracked coffee mug.
Where do these cracks come from?
Well, age, use, some abuse may have finally cracked my cup. I finally saw that the crack was right under the handle. Being knocked against other cups in a dishwasher for thirty years, and heated too many times in a microwave may have weakened my cup. So, too, collisions, however unintentional, and heated words surely can weaken relationships.
Sometimes, wanting the last word can be a heavy straw. Other times sarcasm just isn’t funny. Occasionally, clashes happen because of a conviction that is not just a personal preference.
Toss or Mend?
Tossing a relationship, especially when it’s family, like I tossed my leaky cup, should set off warning sirens!
I did not choose my family – they are God’s gift to me, as I am to them. (Desmond Tutu)
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. ~Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, c.1420
Today’s Lesson from the Holiday Mug
While I may mourn the loss of that old mug, I value the lesson it brought to mind. Similarly, what’s the holiday mug showing me?
Two things: it’s
- It’s a dependable coffee receptacle for now, and
- Three weeks – the time since Christmas — goes by really fast!
The rapid passage of time bowls me over; it’s a constant goad to think about the mystery time is. But not for too long:
Brand’s Asymmetry: The past can only be known, not changed. The future can only be changed, not known. — Stewart Brand
I don’t often think of myself as having the power to change much.
Could stopping myself from camping in the past, or frittering away the present make a change in my tomorrow?
I gonna believe it’s a good start –
When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. ~ John M. Richardson
So, let me pour myself another cup of coffee and re-evaluate what I can do in the time I have; Especially to repair cracks that I can while I can.
Right now counts forever. R. C. SPROUL
P.S.This Time last year: A Few Icicles Shouldn’t Scare You