“You can’t have your cake, and eat it too.”–Unknown.
Have you ever wondered what life is like for the people who don’t even have cake? For the people who don’t even have bread? For the people who, day to day, struggle to survive?
Do you tend to throw away the food you don’t want or eat all the food you like, without thinking about other people?
No, this isn’t going to be a post about practical morality and theoretical morality, though I should probably write about that sometime. This is a post about blessings; having your cake. And eating it too.
The things you have are often the things you overlook. We in America overlook the fact that we already have a perfectly good tablet and want the newest version. We eat fast food and then complain about the fact it isn’t as good as a gourmet restaurant. We ask for the best and highest paying jobs, without thinking about the fact that in Columbia, for example, they make 200 or 300 dollars a month. I am not saying that it’s bad to want good things.
I’m saying that it’s important to remember why we want them. Why do we want them? Success. Fame. Fortune. The best houses. The best jobs. Well, we want them because we want good things. We want pleasure and happiness and joy. Why?
Because we want something even more.
We want the best thing we can find.
We want the Pearl of Great Price, so great and beautiful that the man will sell all he owns to obtain it.
So we reach for it, and since we cannot reach it (God) alone, we try for lesser things to try and replicate the peace and joy which is found within God. There’s just one thing we don’t ask.
Is that good enough? Are we willing to settle for ‘good enough’?
So, what would you give for this Pearl? A lot of people starve for lesser things, to pursue goals which pass. People will save money for a piece of art which may be lost in a fire in less than a year.
Well, you already know how to get the pearl, but what’s my point? That this Pearl of Great Price does not have a mortal price. It does not sell to the highest bidder. It sells to the widow who gives away her last coin.
It sells to the person who innocently trusts.
It sells to the person who loves everyone.
It sells to the person who is grateful.
How can we be grateful? How can we have our cake, and eat it?
Well. Those people that don’t have cake, remember them?
Do you remember that piece of cake you shared with a sibling?
Do you remember how you would share candy with a friend on the bus?
Do you remember that when you shared and gave away, what you had, though it was less, had more value?
Do you remember how when you worked very hard for a goal, suddenly the thing you obtained was worth so much more? How you ran so hard your lungs almost exploded, but you got first and it was all worth it?
Think about it this way, then. Somehow, you ended up with the people you love. You didn’t do anything to earn it, but you earn it now. You earn it by treating them well and putting up with them.
Somehow, your parents paid you through school. You earned it by the work you put into it. If you didn’t earn it well enough, make up for it now. Learn what you can.
If you have a job, then you earn money by working.
How do you earn the job?
By the hard work which preceded.
How does this make you happy?
Remember that candy?
When you give something away, you have to sacrifice that something, but afterwards you feel how worthwhile it was, and with or without thanks, you know you did something good.
Your sister or brother or mother or father may be horribly difficult, but understand that you have put much into the relationship, and that somewhere else you will be rewarded.
When you work for goals and look at what you’ve already got and look at where you came from, you realize that leisure isn’t what makes you happy. It’s earned leisure. It’s having worked hard and knowing it.
We are raised with the idea that work is something to be avoided at all costs. What if it isn’t? What if we are going on the wrong idea?
What if our work, our money, our rejoicing at leisure, is all having our cake without eating it? How do you make work pleasurable? You can sing. You can play music. You can think about what you will have learned or gotten done once you have finished. You can learn, by leaps and bounds, to hunger for knowledge like you did when you asked interminable questions when you were seven. You can learn that hard work and scarred hands are worth every instant.
You can learn that you don’t need glory and fame for the best life ever. All you need is work, (plenty of that to go around!) gratitude and love. Work is a blessing, not a curse. Work is intended to be enjoyed.
Enjoy your work.
Rather than thinking about all that you didn’t accomplish today, think about all you did and sleep happy thinking that you can do even more tomorrow, but for now you just need sleep more than worries.
Give away money when somebody needs it, and don’t be jealous of your time.
Generosity and expecting nothing in return gives a great deal of joy to you.
We have our cake. We have tons of cake. We just have to eat it.
We just don’t see the cake as our favorite kind of cake. So, you have vanilla and you asked for chocolate. So what? Vanilla tastes great for a change.
And maybe, when you eat it, you find the cake is marbled.
Throw your whole self into everything you do. That room that takes 3 hours to clean? You can do it in 1. You know you can.
We have tons and tons and tons of cake, but we forget that we have it.
We let it go rotten.
So don’t let it go rotten. Go for a long walk in your hour of time when you don’t have to do anything. Go and spend some time with friends rather than watching TV.
It’s people that count, not things.
Get to know your parents, your sisters, your friends. Enjoy your life. Enjoy everything.
Enjoy your hour of leisure, but earn it. Value is directly proportional to work.