Last year, one of favorite New Years resolutions I undertook was to eat more donuts. I know this time of year is typically reserved for weight loss and other healthy resolutions, but I felt sorry for those who make donuts and other tasty treats for a living. January must be a bad month for them so to help stimulate the economy I made the resolution to eat more donuts. To which I lasted about 4 days before I was off the donut wagon. Turns out I don’t really like donuts all that much. Every once in a while they are awesome, but day in and day out…..ish.
So this year I’m making a very simple resolution. Try to eat breakfast more and this new resolution has lead me back to one of my favorite childhood cereals, raisin bran. Oh man how to I love raisin bran. I could literally eat this every day as it is absolutely delicious. Pour a little milk on the bran and the sugar coated raisins and I’m in breakfast heaven.
However, I must admit that I’m a big fan of the raisins and not as a big of a fan of the bran. Don’t get me wrong I still love the bran flakes, but given my choice I’d rather eat the raisins. I always smile when my spoon lifts from the milk filled with raisins and only a few bran flakes. Those are spoonfuls I remember.
Through my many spoonfuls of deliciousness, I’ve discovered there is a symbiotic relationship that exists between the bran and the raisins. Take away the raisins and no way am I eating a cereal consisting of only bran. I don’t care how backed up I am, I’m not touching a bran only cereal. On the other hand throw a bunch of raisins into a bowl of milk and hand me a spoon and I’d be running towards the front door of my house screaming like a tween at a New Directions concert. Gross raisins and milk. (I just threw up a little in my mouth just thinking about it.) But when you put them together they are perfection.
I’m now going to do something to a bowl of raisin bran that will blow your mind. In fact, you might to sit down as you read this. Oh and be sure you check your watch as well as your grandchildren will ask you where you where when you read this.
So here it is. The Church is a bowl of raisin bran. There you have it mind blown….right? Just let that sink in for a moment. I realized this connection the other day when i was eating my raisin bran. When the bulb went off I sprang up from the table and a did a quick little dance, ran around the house twice and then sat back down to finish my bowl of deliciousness.
When I converted there were many aspects of the Catholic Faith that I absolutely loved. These were the teachings that drew me into Faith and started me on the my journey towards being Catholic. These are my raisins. They were the teachings that kept popping up in my daily life that made me smile, made be glad to be on my way to being Catholic.
On the other hand, there were a lot of Church teachings that I struggled with and man did I struggle with some of the Church’s teachings. At first I kind of thought, if I just focus on what I like about the the Church I’ll be okay and those teachings that I struggle with well just ignore them and you’ll be okay. Turns out I need those teachings I struggled with more than I first anticipated. These struggles I had and still have are the bran in my faith. I need them way more than I ever thought. It is through my struggles with my faith that I have learned more about my faith and have grown more and deeper into my faith. They have brought me a deeper love and understanding of the raisins in my faith.
If one fills their bowl with only raisins the result is too gross for words and if one fills their bowl only with bran, the same things happen. However if you fill your faith bowl with the right blend of raisins and bran the result is so magical so inspiring so wonderful, you might just find yourself eating breakfast everyday and smiling the entire time.