I ate way too much for dinner tonight.
I had been sitting in front of the computer, procrastinating, not writing my first post for 25 DOP, when my phone rang with an offer to join a friend for dinner. Since I knew I was working against a deadline, and really should stay focused on getting my post done, I promptly decided to join him. Which is the way my brain works when I am up against a deadline. I make procrastination an art form.
We went to a nice little Mexican place nearby, and I ordered my normal order. It arrived incredibly quickly, and I dug in with my typical fervor for delicious food. We sprinkled conversation over our meal, small things, work things, future plans, it was a fairly typical dinner conversation. It was about midway through that typical conversation that I realized I had made a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.
I wasn’t hungry.
I had spent most of the time before dinner snacking on crackers and cookies. I had probably eaten my normal dinner quantity in random snack foods. I wasn’t just not hungry. I was full.
As I drove home in a surprising amount of stomach discomfort (I couldn’t just leave that beautiful meal there to get cold!) I started to think about my life choices. I should have eaten less, or I should have waited for the invitation that I suspected would come. My friend and I talked about getting dinner together before I left work, I just couldn’t wait to satisfy my hunger. So instead of waiting for the meal that I normally enjoy so much, I filled up with the garbage I didn’t have to wait for.
How many times do we fill our own lives with garbage instead of waiting for what we know we really want? How many times have I bought something that I knew was going to just be buried under a pile of clothes I don’t wear? How many times do we eat, when we are already full?
As I sit, typing, with an aching tummy, I find that being full has not brought me peace. In fact, it may be a while before my stomach feels peaceful again. As I sit, typing, with a full schedule and so many plans, do I find the peace that I so desperately long for?
What if I spent the next 24 days focused not on getting my fill of peace, as though I were a bear preparing to hibernate through a long winter, but rather, making room to be filled? If I clean out parts of my life that are filled with junk, how much more satisfying will those moments of peace be? What if I tried to share the things I don’t need with those around me who are starving! How different would this world be if we all ate just enough, and shared the extra that fills our lives with unnecessary pain?
Instead of racing to the next Christmas party, or speeding down the congested streets to buy that one last necktie for dad, what if we found a way to cherish the moments we have together.
When you are hungry, even the smallest morsels of food are fulfilling, rewarding. When you are over-full, even the most exquisite foods can be a chore to eat.
I want to be hungry for peace.
Originally posted at joshuastairhime.com on 12-1-16
25 Days of Peace has returned again! This year you can check out the action on Facebook, or at 254peace.org! I can’t wait to hear from some of my favorite voices as they wrestle with peace, and what it means in their life during this Christmas season.