I once read of a woman who decided to make a dessert for her family’s Sunday dinner. She chose an apple pie, a pastry she made often and could assemble without any trouble. Within minutes she had the apples peeled, the filling prepared, and the pie in the oven. When she served slices the next day, her family spit their bites out like a machinegun on overload. Not offended, the woman tasted her creation and stomped to the kitchen cupboard. To her surprise, the bottle of cinnamon had been moved, a container of cayenne in its place.
I am a writer. Most of what I know about the craft has been learned at the feet of other writers. One of the things we’re told is not to overload a book with back story—the imagined history of the characters before they join the book. Many novices dump back story at the beginning like a bottle of cayenne without its lid. The reader closes the book before the adventure ever gets started. Author Anita Higman suggests adding back story to a book like you would add ingredients to a recipe. Sprinkle it throughout the manuscript like fine spice.
God often works the same way in our lives. If He were to sit us down and show us our lives in one panoramic view, many of us would opt out. Instead, He dishes it out to us one day at a time—letting us live and learn, experience and grow, fitting us for his kingdom.
One day is what we are given—today—not tomorrow. So cherish this day, whether it comes with a teaspoon of sugar or a dumping of salt, it is all you are guaranteed. Trust you will be given just enough grace to see it through to its end.
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV) “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”