If you bite into a habanera pepper, it will wake you up. To be awakened does not require biting into a habanera pepper but it will definitely do the job for you.
There are more pleasant ways to awaken: to music, chimes, a meditation CD, or a radio station tuned to your favorite kind of informational programming. But some people think they must be shocked awake and I recommend habanera peppers for them.
My father loved hot peppers. He would bite into one and dance a little jig. I remember when he found his all-time favorite. He cut up like a man struck by epilepsy. He danced from the kitchen table to the door on his left foot occasionally tapping the floor with his right, then over to the refrigerator and the kitchen sink before returning to the table yelling, “Oh God, that is so good!”
There are an unlimited number of ways my Dad could have aroused himself to sit down and enjoy a good meal, but he preferred pain. There’s a lot to be said for pain. It will get the attention of your body, mind and soul. It radically improves your focus.
Paul had to be awakened by the habanera route. God tried to awaken him with inspiration when he held the cloak of a man stoning the first Christian martyr, Stephen, to death. He showed him how a great soul could face death.
Strangely, it did not get old Paul’s attention.
He was too full of hate. He needed a habanera. So God smacked him off a camel and blinded him for a few days. Paul saw the light.
You don’t have to marry a skunk to wake up to the meaning of a good relationship. There are more pleasant ways that work just as well. But if it takes marrying a skunk for you to learn the glory of a good man or woman who is first and foremost a good person and a trusted friend, your time with the skunk will be well worth it.
The way we wake up is determined by our own mind. The Lord is the best mind reader of all. He always meets us right where we are with exactly what we need to wake up and live.
He loves to wake you up like a shepherd wakes a little newborn sheep – by petting you on His shoulder and letting you know you are loved and can trust Him, holding you high so you can see the world with its dangers and opportunities.
It’s the set of our mind that determines the way we awaken. God is not doing anything to us when He allows us to bite into a habanera, or marry a skunk. He allows us to choose. If we have a mindset that awakening requires pain, he allows us to bite into that pepper, fly into an epileptic frenzy and dance out way to the table so we can dine in succulent splendor. If we are determined to marry a skunk, He stands aside and gives us our wish. After all, skunks need love, too.
Maybe the best prayer a seeker can pray is, “Lord, lead me to the Light but lead me by way of the path of Love. Let me not think I am required to bite into the habaneras and to marry skunks. Let me walk the way of the 23rd Psalm, by the still waters and green pastures. Awaken me with love and teach me to respond to you gentle nudges and promptings. I know I cannot teach and live Love unless you teach it to me.”
“But if I have some sick need inside to be punished and keep choosing the habaneras and skunks, hang with me while I do the dance of the habanera or marry my skunks. I do want to be enlightened no matter the cost.”
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