I woke up from a dream. And in that dream is sugar. A tablespoon of sugar.
Even while dreaming I knew what it was telling me. I had been self-indulgent the past years, giving in to pleasures that satisfy my being. And yes, while these pleasures satisfy, they also dull the senses.
Benjamin Franklin wrote of thirteen virtues that he keeps tabs on everyday. The first is temperance or the control of urges to overindulge. Admittedly, this should also be the first on my list–to eat not to dullness, to drink not to elevation, and to satisfy not to ecstasy.
Sugar is sweet, and it’s very good. Yet it has to be enjoyed with something else, and at appropriate portions. No matter how sweet and nice it is, no one eats sugar by itself and too much sugar would actually make one cringe. Instead, sugar is sprinkled on things that would go better with it. And you’re not just enjoying the sugar, but the whole blend of sugary-goodness in that sweet palette.
And so it goes in a lot of things in this life.
Food is sugar. We enjoy food because it gives our mornings that energy kick. We enjoy feasting on parties because it fills our stomachs as much as our spirits are filled when friends and families surround us on celebration days.
Sex is sugar. We enjoy sex because it allows us to intimately connect with our parters. It’s not enjoyed by oneself only, but with a covenant partner and the experience is both sweet and satisfying.
This is a lesson on moderation and propriety. To exercise restraint. To seek satisfaction only as it is so designed.
Finally, sugar is sweet. The climax of its sweetness is when it lends itself to others. When we sprinkle God’s sweetness wherever we are, we sweeten up the place and let others taste and see God’s goodness. (Psalm 34:8) It’s not for us to take a whole tablespoon of sugar. It’s for us to take a dash and make a bland world a sweeter place to be in.