This is one of my nieces. She's something special, and at 5 she has not yet learned how to pace herself. She is intense, competitive, and a born leader. When she was still riding a bike with training wheels I remember this time we went to ride at a near by park. We were blissfully riding side by side, and then I couldn't help myself. I peddled just barley harder so I would pull out in front of her. The look of fury and determination that crossed her face amuses me still to this day. I have NEVER seen someone peddle so fast. Up and down, over and over like a steam engine, until she finaly found the lead. She peered back at me with such satisfaction!
As I mentioned in my last post, we recently traveled to the Caribbean on a cruise. On St. Thomas we rented a car and drove to a beach so we could do some snorkeling. (Again, Melissa, so sorry we missed seeing you!) We spent several hours in the sun, and as the heat caused the joy of the beach to dissipate into something else, we decided to explore this island a little more. We stopped to get some snacks and drinks.
The girls all picked out these Kool-Aid type drinks called Tum-E Yummie. Allie selected red. The combination of exhaustion, dehydration, and the permission to drink something painfully sweet caused her to drink the 12 ounces in just a few minutes.
You may know where I'm going. A tummy full of liquid mixed with heat and winding roads can quickly lead to an unpleasant experience. I think my British friends call it "getting sick," which is much more pleasant than some of the things we Americans call it. We pulled over and attempted to appease her bruised soul while frantically sanitizing the rented van.
There is something in our sinful nature that finds perverted refuge in the snow-ball effect of indulgence. An inclination toward self gratification; so what we see in Allie's drink, the very thing, the good thing that could have brought blissful satisfaction becomes harmful and sickening. We enjoy good things that can become harmful if taken in too quickly and without proper temperment.
This is not to say that extravagance is absent from the Kingdom. Just look at Mary's anointing of Jesus' feet. No, there is room for extravagance. In fact, it's a part of God's nature. But, godly extravagance and indulgence are two very different things. I pray you never misconstrue the two. One is about selfish ambition and shallow satiation; the other is about generosity and mindful submission to others.
Matthew 10:8(b) Freely you have received, freely give.
Be reminded that God wants to give you good things. He also wants you to want to relish in freely giving of yourself.
Soundtrack: Royals, Lorde; Be Still My Soul, Trinity Anglican Mission Worship Team.