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Portion management

There are so many people “watching their weight” these days. They are not eating this, cutting out that; substituting for this, selecting out that. We study and read “the latest” about what’s in and what’s not in nutrition. Everybody has got advice, and it’s for sale. We’re desperate. Billions of dollars desperate. And we know the answer is in there. We just have to figure it out. After all, 20 years ago, we didn’t have this problem, so something has changed. Is it us? We are voracious people, after all. Helping ourselves to heaping servings of life. Living large. Doing it all. Drinking it all in.

I’m not sure that’s the problem, at least not the whole problem. We are meant to live life abundantly, to embrace all we’ve been given. Not to be ashamed of it. Not to defer or go halfway. ‘Give it all you’ve got’ still works in all circumstances. ‘Be all you can be’ is still a great motto, Army.

I just think we have gotten out of touch with our portion. We grew up eating what was on our plates (because “children were starving in India”) and the plates have gotten larger. We’re still finishing, but now it’s more. But more is what we want, right? Because that means we are getting more for our money. This is a good value, we convince ourselves, so why not order the whole meal? Why not supersize it? Why not buy it in bulk?

And then when we have it we don’t want to waste it. Others are starving, after all. So we consume, and not only all that is on our plate. We

  • drink all in our cup
  • order dessert because it’s “included”
  • take the call because it’s coming in
  • check messages because they are blinking
  • access notifications because they are mounting

Just to clear things away and to leave nothing undone. But instead of feeling satisfied we feel sick. Because we have let circumstances speak to us about portion. We didn’t question whether all that needed eating, drinking, addressing or response. It said so, so we did. That way, we don’t miss anything and don’t miss out on anything.

We are operating on autopilot, but have we any idea we are heading straight for the mountain? 

Ah, this generation that is full of questions but doesn’t question their portion. Well, except to compare it in size to their neighbor’s portion.

What if our starting point was …

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. ~Psalm 16:5

“Chosen portion.” Choosing may require un-choosing. Will power may require ‘won’t power’. What if we knew our plate was just the right size? What if we were already assured that what we have and who we are is enough? How would we answer…

  • Am I hungry?
  • Am I thirsty?
  • Can that wait?
  • Do I really need to?

It may be as simple as shrinking the size of the plate on which I serve myself. If this is all the space I have, what belongs here? Then I could feel completely free to enjoy every last morsel.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:26

Can we see stillness? hear silence?

Oh, what a welcome respite the recent “snow day” was for some. Particularly the ones whose days are hustle and bustle. Whose commutes are honking and merging. Who arrive home each evening exhausted from the effort put forth in the day just filed in the “done” column.

I know and love such a one. She enjoyed this day in her quiet spot, watching the silence and breathing in the stillness. She even took a moment to think of me and snapped me a photo to share the moment’s peace.

Don't think you can see the snow actually falling but the silence "shows."

Don’t think you can see the snow actually falling but the silence “shows.”

How do we see the stillness? Is it the same as hearing the silence?

Stillness is absence of movement. How can I know what isn’t?

Silence is absence of sound. How can I know what isn’t?

Funny how a snapshot stops, for a moment, the flicker of flame and the flutter of snow. I know they are moving. How? By the bend of the light. Its reaching and grasping for air. By the blur in the distance, briefly obscured by the wet lattice of flakes.

I know the movement by the evidence of it’s presence. It lets me see it, teases me to hear it. It calls me to see and to hear with senses different from those I usually trust.

Stillness…

Silence…

Stops me to hear…

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.” ~ Psalm 46: 4-6


Though nations roar and kingdoms crash, there is a place that is Holy. Can we see it? Can we hear it?

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