Journey in a Bottle

This past weekend my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful evening with great friends. Five couples gathered for wine, dinner and dessert. We talked, shared, and laughed as we “broke bread” together.

After the meal the guys and I retreated to the front porch to smoke a cigar and partake in a new bottle of scotch whiskey that my wife had given me as a gift at Christmas some 4 months earlier. Just a dram each, we weren’t trying to get tanked like a bunch of hormone raging college kids. It was simply about the enjoyment of the moment.

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I had waited 4 months to crack open my new bottle and give it a taste, but this is not a libation that you drink alone. It’s much too special to be consumed in isolation, hoarded for my own enjoyment. No, a fine scotch, like Life, is meant to be shared. My friends—”brothers”, and I truly share life together.

The parchment you see in the picture above shares the journey this special bottle takes before it is ready to be bottled and released for enjoyment. Here is what it reads:

The MACALLAN Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
25 Years Old exclusively matured in hand crafted casks from Jerez, Spain.

“The Macallan sherry oaks journey from acorn to glass begins in the forests of northern Spain. Here grows Spanish Oak. The predominant wood species in which this single malt is matured. Typically, the tree is nearly One Hundred years old when felled. The rich timber is sawn into staves and left to dry in the open air. The staves then travel south, where, after further air drying, they are fashioned into casks and toasted over an open fire in the cooperages of Jerez.

“Filled with dry Oloroso Sherry, the casks are left to season for up to 2 years before being emptied and shipped to The Macallan distillery, Speyside, Scotland.

“Here, the casks are filled with the ‘New Make’ spirit and gently slumber for over twenty-five years. Over this time, it slowly matures into this single malt of great richness and character.”

I shared this with my brothers the next day. That night, sitting on the porch, sharing a Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey from Speyside, Scotland had begun over 100 years ago. That bottle’s journey to maturity was started before any of the five of us were even born. Wow!

Our journey is very much a similar one, and God is waiting for us to mature into great richness and character to be enjoyed in Glory. We too need time to grow and mature. We go through trials and we are tested by the fires of life, and then we are also given time to mourn and heal. We’re also given a new Spirit as we learn to live out of love in authentic community with each other.

God is “seasoning” us for living in His Kingdom. This is done with much detail and care, just as the making of the scotch whiskey my brothers and I shared on the porch this weekend. It takes time to reach the full richness and character we were created for…

…It’s a Journey…

…It’s Life…

…And it is meant to be shared.