Saturday, May 21, 2011

the scarfing strategy

Scarfing.  It's a habit, a necessity on a normal day: somebody is going to need something in the next 30 seconds, so if I am going to eat, I'd better eat fast.

Now, this is not ideal, I admit.
Sometimes I scarf and then I really don't remember if I ate or not.  (Seriously, did I eat breakfast today?)  I rarely savor.  I hardly enjoy.  But the body must be fed.  And I insist, it is better to scarf than to fast.

It is hard to turn this impulse off when I am, say, on a "date" with my husband.  I usually notice I am scarfing about halfway through the meal.  Then I pause to breathe, to laugh at myself, and tell myself to slow down and try to enjoy the food.

But I insist, there is a season for scarfing.  There is a time when enjoyment is not the point: nourishment is, and that goal must be met efficiently.  If eating is to happen, it must happen on the fly, while I am packing lunches and doing dishes and looking for someone's other shoe.

This is also the way I feel about "quiet time."
It would be nice to have some consecutive minutes of quiet for reading the Bible and praying.  It's not that I don't want those minutes.  It's just that they are so very hard to find at this time of my life.  And the trouble is, when the kids are sleeping and I sit down and the house is quiet and my heart is quiet... then my brain gets quiet, and my body gets quiet, and I simply pass out.

So I scarf.  I feed my soul as I do other things.  While doing dishes and folding laundry,while walking to the park, while cooking lunch.  It is easier to listen than to read while hands are busy, so I listen more than I once did, back in the days when the words "quite time" didn't just make me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

I listen, and I scarf.  As I scarf, I sometimes get frustrated when I am interrupted, and I don't always get to savor or enjoy, and I sometimes forget what it is I listened to an hour ago.   But it gets in, and my soul gets fed, here and there and along the way.

And there are still special occasions, when life is quiet and my brain is not, and I get to turn off the scarfing.  I slow down and savor, and I taste and see that the Lord is good.  (When the kids are grown, maybe this will even happen during the Divine Service again someday!)

It's not ideal, but it is better to scarf than to fast.



If you are curious, my favorite things for audio scarfing: various hymns,  Issues, etc, and the Daily Office.  





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