Friday, July 22, 2011

Supersize Me!

Surely this is a distinctly American phenomenon: the six foot sub sandwich. Handy and celebratory when feeding a crowd, it reminds me of our collective obsession with things in grand scale and of our frequent progression from big, bigger, biggest.

Large was not big enough. We got Extra Large. Then Jumbo.

Any surprise that we have trouble with portion control when it comes to food, as well as other appetites?

We want more. It's an old, old story, this grasping for more. My brother tells the tale of the dog with a bone in his mouth who sees his reflection in the pool of water below. He wants the bone he sees in the grip of that other dog and--you guessed it--drops his bone, only to lose the other one too.

How often do we give up what we have in pursuit of something that may much like it in essence? Or some of us minimize the treasure of today while pining for a day we can visualize in the future: A bigger, better day beyond this one. We may imagine a reflection of something that looks like us--only happier, healthier, wealthier and wise, and we are drawn inexplicably to it.

Where is the wisdom in this?

I've heard young moms wish away the little years of their young ones, longing for a day when they are able to do things by themselves. A day when moms will have more time. When they can do something meaningful with their lives-- something that matters. And they miss it altogether, this treasure they held in their arms for a short while.

Likewise, I hear the lament of women who yearn for the chance to do it all over again, and-- this time--they'll get it right. Men, as well, discover all too late the chance that was theirs while they were busy looking at other reflections that beckoned to them.

And somewhere in the distance, I hear the refrain, "When will they ever learn...?" from the song that could have been a generation's wake-up call.

My mom always says, "What you're looking for is usually at the end of your nose." Sounds like that dog in the reflection to me.

Don't give up the treasure of what you have in a wild pursuit of something you think will make you happy--no matter how big it appears or what size box it comes packaged in to your door. Six foot subs are attention-getting, to be sure, but they eat just like anything else: one bite at a time.

What if we applied the same 'bigger is better' attitude to our hearts and to our capacity to forgive and accept others? Such a stretch may produce growing pains as we change from the inside out, but the results will reshape our lives and ripple outward to others. Remember how even the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that fateful day? Supersize my heart, Lord!

Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

(Thanks, Sallie Kate, for the reference.)


  1. what a great story about the dog and the bone! thank you for this very important reminder :)

  2. Reminded me of 1 Timothy 6:6 - Godliness with contentment is great gain.