Three years ago, I sat on a slick vinyl booth at Denny’s, my cold, ash-colored fingers dipping carrot sticks into a bowl of fat free ranch dressing. The person across from me was dunking pieces of golden pancakes into a puddle of maple syrup. Next to them, someone was feasting on a platter of chicken fried steak slathered in gravy.
I was eating something, but it really amounted to nothing. Inside, I was hungry, frozen and so uptight.
A few days later, I was with my cousin and she offered me a brownie. When I declined one of her homemade bars, she looked at me dead on and said, “Taylor, when are you going to lighten up?”
‘Me? Lighten up?‘ I thought, shocked that someone would tell me, the girl who always had pranks up her sleeve and smiles in her back pocket, to take a load off.
But as I stared at the brownies, I realized I was the only one fooling myself, pretending that I was stronger for choosing to stay away from “unhealthy foods,” always have my study hours planned and organized, taking the most efficient way instead of ambling through the countryside.
‘Why had I become so serious? Where was my spark?‘ I remember thinking.
Without another word, I reached for the brownie and sank my teeth into its chocolatey goodness. The bitterness of the cocoa, the dense center and chewy edges, began to pull me out of my serious slump and nourish that grumbling stomach that was crying out for Joy!
What’s the point of living if we choose to have our lives planned down to the point where spontaneity has to be penciled into our agenda? Why are we so harsh on ourselves when we have a Father who gives us unending grace?
Yes, I can be serious, but I am first and foremost Spirit led and Spirit filled. With that at my center, seriousness can sit shotgun while my child-like faith steers ahead, full steam.