Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. However, we can arrive at a much simpler view if we look at what it’s made of.. at the essence of the ingredients.
Reinheitsgebot – The German (or Bavarian) Beer Purity Law of 1487 dictated that beer could only contain water, malted barley, and hops. The yeast that produced fermentation was implied and either taken from sediments of a previous batch or allowed to find the raw wort through natural airborne transmission.
Today we have an incredible variety of beer. The rules regarding ingredients have been relaxed to allow other grains and adjunct ingredients such as fruit, and finings such as Irish moss and gypsum. But at it’s core it’s still just water, malted grain, hops and yeast. Simple.
I like to keep this type of simplicity in mind when I’m contemplating the question of who I am. Whether it’s to answer my own query or someone else’s. It’s the KISS principle in action. One that I violate regularly. I’ll grab an idea, thought or concept, follow it to an absurd and extreme level of detail, then realize what I’ve done and back out, finally arriving at simplicity.
Maybe it’s not so strange. I’ve spent the last 26 years of my career engaged in the art of technical troubleshooting. The process has always been a natural one for me, although I realize it’s not so natural for many others. It’s the Sherlock Holmes method in practice.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Eliminate what can’t be causing the problem. Eventually you’re left with few enough alternatives the solution will emerge.
Perhaps that’s the best way to tackle the big question too. Eliminate the impossible. I’ll start by determining who I am not and hope that once enough layers of that onion have been peeled away, what I’ll be left with is who I am.
OK. Maybe it’s not “The” big question. But it’s certainly one of them.
“Who are you?”
And it’s cousin…
“Who am I?”
I think that at some point in our lives everyone has to have been asked the former and asked themselves the latter. I certainly have. Rather often, in fact.
In 1982 a move came out called The World According to Garp. I was drawn in by the idea of the movie, more than the actual content. At its core was the premise that each person perceives the world in their own way. The truth of my world and the truth of yours might be very different, even though we might seem to have a similar existence on the outside.
This is where I think I’ll begin.
How often have I heard the term Blessing used? That’s a number I can’t count! When I hear the term the song Counting your Blessings from White Christmas immediately pops into my head.
What exactly is it that I’m counting?
A blessing is God’s favor and protection. Those who are blessed are those who “live with God in heaven”.
So, when I count my blessings… I count the many instances where things have simply worked out. Despite my fears or concerns. Regardless of how hard I try to manipulate situations one way or another… in the end they work out and often in my favor. Those are blessings and when it happens I’m blessed.
I’m fortunate. I guess one could say I’m blessed to have enough blessings in my life to be able to fall asleep while counting them.
I didn’t grow up in an atmosphere where prayer was talked about much. It was expected that we did it as individuals, and we occasionally did it as a family, but there wasn’t much emphasis on it at all.
In my church life as an adolescent prayer was mentioned often, but there were no instructions on how to pray. And, the vibe of the place certainly discouraged asking about it. You were expected to already know. Asking would simply blow the whistle on your ignorance.
Over the years I paid some attention to what other people… people I admire and/or respect… had to say about how to pray. I learned. I came into my own way. My own method. I can’t even really explain it. It’s not like what I hear most people doing. Actually, now that I think about it… I’ve never heard anyone pray the way I pray.
But that explanation is for a different day.
Today I want to talk about my journey to learn how to listen for the answers to prayers. For the longest time I felt that my prayers were never answered. In a lot of way’s praying seemed pointless. But as I thought about it I began to realize that it wasn’t the praying that was off. It was my awareness of what constituted a response.
There’s a scene from the movie “Evan Almighty” that I think sums up how to listen for answers to prayers. I think that if I learn how to listen for the answers in our opportunities, rather than for specific events or moments I’ll find my answers. When I apply that lens I see and hear answers to prayers everywhere!
For example; I’ve always prayed for financial stability. Not necessarily for wealth, but for enough to not be in obvious need. Did I find a boat load of money? Nope. But I have found that I’ve been provided with opportunity to be financially stable. I’ve accepted that opportunity and things have worked out.
I’ve discovered that when we pray for a loved one to be released from pain we have to be prepared for the answer to be something other than healing. Healing happens. But so does death. Both are a release from the pain.
Want more friendships in your life? Pray for them. Then look for opportunities to be a friend.