On a hot summer day, I often like to enjoy a popsicle or an ice cream sandwich to keep cool. Sometimes, I’ll even throw a bunch of different fruits and milk together into the blender to create a delicious smoothie. I’ll admit, though, what I prefer most is a big bowl of ice cream.
When I really want to be creative, I’ll pull out a deep dessert bowl from the cabinet and fill it with several scoops. If that weren’t enough to concern my wife or doctor, I’ll take out a can of whipped cream from the fridge and spray some on top of my ice cream mountain. Next, I will drizzle chocolate syrup all over those white waves.
Feeling somewhat guilty or conscientious of my health, I will then scatter some chopped nuts and chunks of banana over my tasty treat, adding a cherry on top for good measure.
Yes, an ice cream sundae is a dessert I would gladly eat daily if sugar intake was not a hurdle. Alas, I tend to save it instead for special occasions or for the middle of a summer heat wave.
Recently, as I was devouring my delicious ice cream meal, it dawned on me that we humans don’t just eat sundaes in society today. We live them.
You see, the whole point of a sundae is to dress it and build it as much as you can, adding more and more to improve its taste. Yet, we can easily forget the key ingredient of a sundae lies simply at the bottom – the ice cream.
It doesn’t matter if it’s vanilla or Neapolitan, cookies and cream, or mint chocolate chip – ice cream is the foundation on which all other toppings will stand and without which all other toppings are weak.
Like ice cream in a sundae, God is our foundation. Only He can offer and provide the true joy and fulfillment we so desperately crave and seek in life.
Yes, our families and friends are of tremendous importance. Our jobs and hobbies hold great value also. Material possessions, too, can be extremely useful and give enjoyment in so many ways.
Yet, while sundae toppings can be desired, it is the ice cream that serves as the essential ingredient of the dessert, while any add-ons merely enhance it.
While we may enjoy the latest clothing trends or score tickets to the coolest concert, are we defined by these temporary or artificial aspects? Do we feel complete only when we have hundreds of followers on Twitter or our beach resort vacation pictures draw the approval of so many of our Facebook friends? Is our dating status or potential education or employment advancement our main motivation in life? Could we truly say our family relationships are rooted in a foundation that is deep and meaningful?
Inviting God into our lives and featuring Him at the center can only make these elements so much more real and purposeful.
Without God, all of these and so many more examples can render us empty at our core. But with Him, these elements can represent and radiate our full being.
Indeed, they are to reflect God and enrich our relationship with Him – serving as a complement, not a replacement.
Growing closer with God and having Him as our base is like any other worthwhile experience in life – it takes time and effort. How blessed we are that He offers us such an opportunity.
Just as we can prepare an ice cream sundae any day of the week, we can spend time with the Lord and celebrate with our community by attending Mass regularly – especially on Sunday.
Now, before I lace up my sneakers to run and burn off my additional calories, it should be noted that sundae was actually my second helping.
But that just goes to show that with God, we should always come back for more!