Over the past couple of months Doug has introduced me to a new level of chocolate delight. He has gifted me with a type of chocolate that can’t be bought in your run of the mill every day store. This is good chocolate.
Part of it has been hot chocolate. Even as I sit here and remember how amazingly good that hot chocolate is, I also vividly remember my response to my very first taste of the delectable treat.
“This doesn’t taste like hot chocolate!”
Don’t get me wrong – it was good. Better than any hot chocolate I’d ever before tasted. But, it was hard to wrap my mind around it truly being hot chocolate because it was so incredibly different!
As I’ve savored and enjoyed every morsel and drop of my precious high-end chocolate stash, I have pondered the concept of standards. My standard for chocolate has been established by what I could buy from Wal-Mart or could make myself. The result has been that when I tasted “real” chocolate for the first time, it didn’t even taste like chocolate to me! I knew what I was trying tasted really, really good, but I had to totally re-educate my palate to convince it that what I was eating was truly chocolate.
Often our spiritual standards are the same. We really have no idea what amazing depths are waiting for us. We cannot even begin to fathom or imagine the levels of spiritual growth that exist. But, so often we settle for setting our standards based on what we know and what we’ve already experienced. Then when we are faced with a challenge to our standards, we almost can’t even begin to identify what we are experiencing or learning.
Standards are critical. But, what is more critical is that we set our standards high and acknowledge that there is the possibility for them to move higher still. If we constantly set our standards where we are, we will struggle greatly when something comes along to show us that our standards are too low. But, if we set our standards high – knowing that there is always something more amazing awaiting us – then when the challenge comes, we will grab hold of it with excitement and set a new standard even higher.
As for me, my chocolate standard will never be the same. Oh, I still enjoy the Wal-Mart stuff, but it is no longer what I reach for when I really need chocolate. No, I’ve found something better. My chocolate horizons have been expanded.
May I do the same with my spiritual standards.