This blog, All Who Wander Are Not Lost - is about finding the sublime and divine in life, as we go. There were several moments recently that caught my attention. Should I write about the rudeness of being cut off in line for the open checkout? Or, how I forgot the carpenter’s rule of, “Measure once, cut twice” while doing some woodwork at home? Or…is it…., “Measure twice, cut once?”...
Anyway, of all the possibilities, I think the most enjoyable will be about bacon. Now that I’ve got your attention, there’s a life lesson to learn from the cured, salted slab. Let’s talk about bacon!
I decided to spend my Saturday morning treating my wife to a home-cooked breakfast. I’d visualized it the night before. An exotic egg scramble with all the finest ingredients, custom crafted. Organic eggs, freshly diced onions, chopped sweet, red peppers, mouth-watering mushrooms - for me, not for her. And, of course, bacon!
Bacon, bacon, bacon!
Now, much like shrimp, there are lots recipes for bacon. Bacon goes with just about everything. Bacon and eggs. Bacon and scallops. Bacon and beans, any beans. Bacon and corn, which includes grits. Bacon and oysters. Bacon and hot dogs. Bacon and chocolate. There’s bacon gum. Even bacon with bacon! And with its universal applications, there are best practices in cooking it, too.
My wife’s go-to method is in the oven. Laying out parchment paper on a cooking sheet, she bakesthe sweetness to a crisp crunch. Some like to microwave it, but I’m not a fan, it’s rubbery. My favorite way to draw the goodness out of bacon is low and slow in a heavy, cast iron skillet.
So, there I was, eggs scrambled, onion and pepper sizzling away. And sequestered for distinctive attention in the iron skillet, was the bacon. A half-pound of perfectly prepared pork! As I tended to the niblet sized morsels, my mind wandered to the ways of bacon and life. There isn’t much difference if we want perfect bacon or a healthy life. It’s a bit strange using the words “bacon” and “healthy” in the same sentence, but here we go.
Just like bacon, to get the most out of life, we have to be deliberate, intentional and ever watchful. A few times, when my wife has put a tray of the marbled goodness in the oven, getting distracted resulted in charred meat. Although crunchy, the bacon was flavorless, and she was upset. If you want the best out of your bacon and your life, you’ve got to tend to it, being intentional and deliberate.
Just like bacon, savor life! Occasionally, we’ll give our dogs small pieces of bacon. But they just gulp it. I wonder if they even taste the deliciousness! Rushing through life isn’t much different. There are times when we need to see, smell and savor the richness of living, not gulping down experiences without full enjoyment. Life is hectic, so make times, frequently, where you can enjoy its sweetness.
Remember, success is intentional, arrive equipped.
Just like bacon, we have to approach life equipped. Reminding myself of the Seven P’s - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance - I’ve avoided some potentially disastrous events. This particular Saturday, I not only dreamt of the wonderful recipe, but I also gathered all the tools I would need before I began. Skillet, wooden spoon, plate, paper towel and bacon. This way, once prepared, I could give all my attention to what I was doing. Remember, success is intentional, arrive equipped!
Just like bacon, if you don’t control the heat, you’ll get fried. Too much stress in life will kill a person just like too hot of a pan will blow up bacon. You know how bacon splatters all over the stove and there’s a greasy mess to clean up? Well, you’ve got the heat too high. Turn it down a few notches and let the slow dance of the bacon cook its way to heaven. There was a time in my life where I splattered all over people. The stress I allowed in my life was at an all-time high, and I wasn’t fun to be around. I had to learn to control the heat. When I did, I stopped splattering. But this took some serious self-evaluation and reorganization of priorities and practices. If you need help with this, give me a call.
So, there you have it, lessons about life and bacon. Let’s review!
- To get the most out of life, be deliberate, intentional and ever watchful of how you’re living. Take time to evaluate what you must stop and start doing.
- Savor life! We only go around once. Don’t miss the beauty of living. Pause and relish the valuable things like family, creation, art, and laughter.
- Being properly prepared and equipped can make all the difference. Maybe taking continuing education classes might help. Perhaps getting up a little earlier so you’re not rushing, or, getting more rest may be just the ticket. Either way, remember the Seven Ps!
- You have to learn how to control the heat. Life is stressful, don’t let it rule you, or it will destroy you.
I pray you have a healthy life filled with enjoyment and bacon! I pray you're courageous as you evaluate and adjust your living so you don't get fried!