Tuesday, October 6, 2009

30 Days of Tasting

Day 21

Did you know that about 40 % of tasting something is the result of smelling it? Yesterday, when I met with Ed, the Master Sommelier (Day 19), he mentioned that one of the steps in tasting wine before it even enters your mouth, is swirling it in the glass. Ed says it makes the wine more volatile, releasing the bouquet. Then, by taking in the fragrance, your taste buds prepare to taste. Smell helps you anticipate the taste.

I’ve been thinking about that the last two days—the idea of smelling to anticipate the taste. I think anticipation is a powerful set-up that helps us experience more of God. Yesterday, I read about anticipating in The Deeper Journey by Robert Mulholland, a book I mentioned a few days ago.

In this book, Mulholland talks about the features of keeping a daily office, a daily disciplined time with God. One of the elements of a daily office is taking time to think through your day--each appointment, event or task you have to do—and imagining that you do each from a deep union in Christ.

I tried that yesterday and today. I had several appointments with people I didn't know. So, I anticipated the conversations, trying to imagine relating to each person from my true self in Christ. I felt what that would feel like; envisioned listening intently, loving them as Christ loves them, and hearing without judgment. I can’t tell you how powerful that was for me.

In the same way that swirling wine releases the bouquet, envisioning God in my day helped me taste God in my day. The anticipation primed me to live out these interactions the way I imagined them. It helped me expect God to be present and involved in each one.

In describing the daily office, Mulholland writes, “When our daily office is merely one more task in an already busy schedule, it most likely will become simply another activity of our religious false self. ….If we are serious about the deeper journey, then we will have our daily office as the center of our life. All else will be ordered around this crucial time with God…..This time with God becomes the center out of which we enter into our life in the world.”

So, consider this: Think about what your day (or next day) holds. Imagine what it would be like if you lived from your true self in Christ during each task, interaction or activity. Ask God to show you what your day would look like if you were consistently you.

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