Trying to Eat Your Cake?

I am a regular reader of Around the Year with Emmet Fox, 365 daily selections from the writing and teaching of one of the leaders who developed positive thinking as a means towards spiritual health. He also was one of the spiritual advisors to Bill W and others as they began Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today’s reading is a listing of “You cannot have . . . ., and also have . . . .,  as in the old saying, “You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.”

He begins with that one, and then adds six more. I am going to meditate on each one and share some thoughts about each one over the next few days. I hope you will go on this journey with me. And please respond if you wish–perhaps we could even get a conversation going.

Let’s begin.  “You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.”

I know this is often used as a way to judge someone for making a mistake. It has been said to me more than once. I have said it to others, and about others. Often, the person saying it (me) uses a smug tone.

But what if I apply it to myself?

Obviously, I cannot meet my weight goal of 200 pounds by Easter if I eat a lot of cake (especially the fruitcake that is calling to me from the refrigerator at church)!

But there is more. If I work too much, I cannot spend adequate quality time with Jonathan or Cocoa or my daughters and my beautiful granddaughter. On the other hand, if I don’t work enough, the church will not meet its mission and I might have to find another job (and God’s call on my heart may be denied).

So this is about making choices. Life requires choices all the time. There is nothing I do that on some level I have not chosen to do. Oh, I want to blame someone else for whatever is going wrong, or is creating unhappiness in me, but the truth is that it is all my choice. Even those things that seem to not be a choice are a choice.

Dr. Emmet Fox

We had a great example the other night at The Way of Prayer small group. One of us said, “You know I brush my teeth each day, and I get dressed before going to work.” I would not dream of not doing either one. So, that’s what I want for my morning prayer life. I want to have prayer be as important, and as regular, as brushing my teeth.”

She understands she has a choice. The truth is that she needs to allow more time in the morning for prayer. That will mean less time for something else (probably sleep). What is her priority? Is prayer really a top priority, or is it only a wish?

You cannot have 10 minutes of prayer and sleep (or brush) the same ten minutes.

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