“I have a story to share with you all.”
I leaned forward on the log, because from the slight lilt at the corner of his whisker-stubbled chin, I could tell that it was going to be a good one. The Doctor gazed quietly out at the lake, and began.
“Several years ago, I led a canoe trip for a group of men. There was one in the crowd who I noticed in particular, a newcomer, tall and lanky, quietly standing in the shadows. The week went along, and he never got too vocal, never said a lot. He had a high metabolism. I knew he was nervous about how he would survive on his scanty food rations.
During the entire week, he carefully hoarded his food supply. He never ate too much at a time.
Friday night came and he sat by the fire, his food sack half open on his lap. It had some amazingly large bulges. And as he gazed down at it, the man spoke for almost the first time that week. “When I die, I hope my food bag is empty.”
All of the other men stared at him in surprise. What? It’s Friday night! You’ve made it this far… there’s no way you’re going to die NOW!
The man, seeing their incredulous expressions, explained himself. “You know, I came on this trip not knowing what kind of physical hardships I would have to endure. All week, I’ve been hording my food, being sure to save enough for each meal. I was so careful not to over-indulge. Now, the trip is almost over. I still have 1/3 of my food left. I can never eat it all tonight. I hope my life isn’t like that, that’s all.”
And that’s my story.” The Doctor resumed his quiet place in the shadow of the pines as if he hadn’t said a word.
I stared thoughtfully at the bulging food sack in my own lap. Instead of jerky, pretzels and Quaker instant oatmeal I saw skills… passions… dreams…. talents…. energy.
“Child, do you trust me? Do you have faith that I will provide you with ENOUGH?”
Yes. Yes, I do. I am learning.
What’s the use of hording, anyway?