There is a fine line between overindulgence and stinginess - and I tend to hop back and forth over it rather than walk that lovely line.
Can you relate?
There are several cookies left from my day of baking...so I should just finish them all now. (Somehow I seem to think this will take care of the problem, when it only makes me want to bake/buy more sweets!)
There are several books I've started on my Kindle...so I should read or skim them all now in order to start fresh.
There are several new movies I just bought...so I should watch them all this weekend. Because, why not?
Not that it's bad to enjoy life and the blessings we have! But I feel like I haven't been all that successful at developing the art of savoring things.
It's a funny sort of dilemma. To learn to live as if each day were your last, while also living with respect for the future.
Sometimes I want to eat it all, read it all, watch it all, buy it all, do it all now. No matter the consequences, be they extra pounds or a deep-seated dissatisfaction caused by rushing through life and biting off more than I should chew in one sitting.
Of course, on the other end, I have my shelves of unread books. Books that I want to savor someday, and so I buy more and more and put off what I have, never cracking open the spines or opening that first digital page on my Fire tablet.
As much as I'm glad to have stories to anticipate, what good are shelves full of books if I never get around to reading them, all while collecting more that I'll never get around to reading?
I want to find that fine line hidden somewhere in the grass that's grown wild in my heart.
I remember finding it when I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I took my time reading that story, bringing it with me to savor on some of the nights I ate out.
OK, I might have rushed a little more through the end. ;) But all in all, I loved taking my time, delighting in the experience of letting the story unfold bit by bit.
Of course, some books are meant to be a marathon rather than a leisurely stroll. Take Winter by Marissa Meyer, for example. I dare you to take your time reading that one over a series of weeks!
I suppose it boils down to attitude, as most things do.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring. Our lives are a vapor (James 4:14).
But then, God has "made every thing beautiful in his time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Consider this passage: "To every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?" (Ecclesiastes 8:6-7). It does often leave us miserable, doesn't it? To try to determine the right timing for something...to wait for God's perfect timing. It's really, really hard not to know things.
So we don't know how much longer we have - if today will be our last day.
Should we eat all the cookies now? Should we finish all the books and movies today because tomorrow might not come?
I often find that eating just one more sweet...and just one more...doesn't make the experience any better. Same with rushing through a book that ought to be savored.
And yet, putting everything off until tomorrow only means that I likely won't enjoy it at all.
Isn't it funny how tomorrow never really comes? Life is really just a string of todays.
I'll end this rambling post with a quote from Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (A. Because this book is wonderful and I'm so glad I've read it twice so far. B. Because I'm glad I got to watch the live streaming of the Daddy Long Legs musical last week, which was also wonderful.)
It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones - I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be forever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant....
Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through....
I've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses.
I'm still learning the art of savoring, but I hope that even just the act of writing this post will push these reminders further into my soul and dig that fine line a little deeper across my heart.