Saturday Morning Breakfast at Cooper Monastery

This morning Sam (the inquisitive six-year old) looked directly at me and asked, MK, what is God? Ah, well. Ahem. Excellent question Sam, I replied, casting sidelong glances at his parents who were on either side of the kitchen, bearing equally gratified smirks. They had fielded this same inquiry earlier in the week, both of them giving their best off the cuff answer, followed quickly by, You should ask MK. 

I explained that the easiest way for me to think of God is like this: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." To me, God is that whole. Of course, he looked at me blankly, waiting for something that makes sense to come out of my mouth. I asked Phil and Nadia for some help with translation and Phil was quick with an analogy. He told Sam that it's like being on the soccer field - when you've got four players working together, passing and fielding and such, they operate as a team, not just four individual players. They become something together that they could not be on their own. Nicely done, Phil. I like it. God is just like that, Sam, but with everything. (I resisted the urge to say everything and nothing.)

I told Sam that people have different ideas of how to define God, and that ultimately, we don't really know what God is. It's not like the way we know that this is a tea mug here in my hand. There's a lot of Mystery involved in this God thing, and some people do not believe there even is such a thing as God.

Is there a God for you, MK? 

Yes Sam, there is.
God is the biggest part of what I'm doing here this year, praying and writing and trying to understand what God even means. There are loads of people who devote their whole lives to trying to understand and experience the Mystery of God and they will never arrive at an end. We could talk about God every single day at the dinner table and never run out of things to say or ask.

I couldn't help but throw in something about life force, or energy, the thing that gives us life, or life to plants and animals...yes, God has something to do with that. Nadia added the much needed concrete example of his little twin sisters - how they didn't exist before and then they grew and were born and now there are babies, where there weren't any before. They came to life. And I daresay, they came from God.

Never a dull moment here at Cooper Monastery. Breakfast was a real treat, and not just because we each had monogrammed pancakes. (Thanks, Phil!) We had a laugh at the Alfred E. Newman spring of hair atop Sam's head, bantered lines between Led Zeppelin and some 80's boy band whose name escapes us (oh-oh-OH-oh-oh, oh-oh-Oh-oh, oh-oh-OH-oh-oh...the right stuff!) and chanted rounds of thanksgiving for the most Holy maple syrup before us. 

Then out of nowhere, amidst this haphazard arc of theology and pancake, came Sam's unforgettable line on the heels of a giggle: Next thing you know, you're dead. 

Spot on, mate. Talk about a ringer from the mouths of babes...!



Wonderful post. I am taken with the soccer field analogy, having spent many years as a Buddhist soccer mom...
And the writing is delightful, particularly "this haphazard arc of theology and pancake."

Post a Comment

Siguiente Anterior Inicio