Does Your Altar Need a Cupholder?
This morning, as I sorted through the myriad things my son had piled upon the table that serves as my altar, I found myself pouting over the fact that the small quilt that I use to cover my altar doesn’t make for a very steady surface on which to set my narrow-bottomed, 16-ounce-holding coffee cup.
And then it hit me — coffee cup??? I’m worried about a place to set my coffee cup? I need to bring my coffee cup to prayer?? I know I’m a Starbucks-drinking* kinda girl, but seriously, aren’t I a liturgy-loving, experience-submersing, spirituality-seeking kinda gal even more? I need coffee in my hand at every moment?
Shame on me! Aren’t I the one that (quietly and to myself) makes fun of the “Sunday is Supposed to be Entertainment” kinda Christians that meet in a movie theater and have an espresso machine out front so they can have a little Christ with their coffee … and all the while I’m also secretly envying the fact that they not only get to take their coffee into worship service, but get GOOD coffee too!**
And then my mind wanders down the aisle of a movie theater and I see cup holders.
“Cup holders! Maybe my altar needs a cup holder!” I thought, momentarily delighted with my own cleverness.
And then I gave myself a little mental shake. Heaven help me.
But then, a few moments later, as I opened A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings by Coleman Barker, I read:
I reach for a piece of wood. It turns into a lute.
I do some meanness. It turns out helpful.
I say one must not travel during the holy month.
Then I start out, and wonderful things happen.
And I am reminded of the passage of scripture that talks about the eating of the meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 10. I am not a biblical scholar, nor am I an expert on situational ethics, but I do know that (for at least this moment right now***) I don’t feel good about bringing my coffee into worship service. But I also think that I should feel just fine about other people doing it.****
Learning to let go of the “rules” and instead just holding on to Jesus sometimes feels a bit like letting go of a rope and free-falling into the unknown.
*I’m actually a Santa Lucia gal!
**I’m sorry, people of St. Timothy, but our coffee is HORRIBLE!!! And I don’t care how thick the Father thinks we need to have it that bargain basement coffee <shudder> I’m about to stage a Coffee Coo while I’m still on vestry.
***Which leaves the door open for discussion or for me to change my mind in the future.
****In their own church. I don’t think I’m ready to let go entirely, you can have your coffee in YOUR church sanctuary, not mine. Yes, I understand that I’m not necessarily making much sense.