Bearing well the pain of gluttony
November 13, 2019 | Dear Eric, I sometimes—often, in fact—indulge a little too much. The temptation is so innocent a thing...just another slice of pizza, just another size up of my sweet blended drink, a large when a medium—or better still a small—would do... It's such as small sin, is it not? Such a tiny thing... But then I sit there afterwards, slightly bloated, or zipped up on too much sugar. Or, I'll feel the consequence in a few days when my waistline resists my belt and I need to tighten out another notch. It's a battle I can never quite win—this press to resist and consume less, to take a smaller share of whatever portion is offered to me, or whatever portion I decide I want or even need. Though I know there is some prize in saying no, especially after the deed isn't done. Though I usually decline that more worthy challenge and reward in favor of some delicious, invigorating, stimulating moments now of munching and sipping and, of course, the sweet distraction that these distractions bring. But maybe there's some virtue yet to be made of this excess? Perhaps there is something good to be done of too much?
It's actually not hard to turn the spoiled stuff of our weakness into the wholesome substance of virtue. For this transformation is accomplished whenever we recognize what we have done, and accept the consequence we suffer now, or the suffering to come, and then decide that, though we previously failed to restrain our hand, or mouth, or wallet, or libido, or whatever, in our former decision to consume too much, we can now play a secondary option of bearing well the consequence we have brought upon ourselves by virtue of our intemperate want. Goodness is ours now, as we groan through our tummy ache. Virtue is at hand, as we examine our drained bank account. Peace is close within sight, as we fess up our indiscreet folly. And though it may not feel very good in the moment of our rising; the fact of our choice now to rise—and the willful exercise of such strength—in standing from our fall...to totter upon our own two feet in the bare and open wind, is sufficient reward itself to not erase our past excess, but at least to make the living of such indulgence something worth living after all.
The distraction was seemingly good. Though the bearing well of recognizing the consequence of our unworthy distraction is something much better.
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