To Chase a Cheerio

For some, like me, cereal is a breakfast staple. I can’t help it. It’s just easy to fix and I like the taste. Some brands are even fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and, of course, milk is a basic and a necessary source of so many good things. Right?

When I was a kid, I ordered a Tony the Tiger cereal bowl and matching cup. The ordering was quite a process in those days. I had to provide a proof of purchase label from the box top and a check I begged my mother to write.  I sent it all through the mail, and after several weeks, it finally came. I loved it. If I finished the cereal (Frosted Flakes, of course), I could see the smiling face of its Grrrrrreat mascot.

I’ve graduated from the sugary stuff to those whole grain versions that are chocked full of daily nutrients, or at least that’s what it says on the box. Sometimes I opt for the old standby, Cheerios. It’s wholesome and prevents heart disease, or at least that’s what it says on the box.

Anyway one day, not long ago, I found myself getting to the bottom of my bowl and, though it had gotten a little soggy, I was insistent on chasing that last one until I captured it. I corralled  it after a couple of tries. As I slurped it into my mouth, it occurred to me, at that point, how I often worry about trivial things—things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. Often I find myself chasing a morsel of life that is not very important.

One of those things I fuss over is how I look. I knew this day would come, but I didn’t expect the natural aging process to be so cruel. I don’t want to be 16 again, or 26 or 36, but I wouldn’t mind looking more like I did back then— before Mean Ol’ Mister Gravity had his way. And his ugly sister, Snow White Roots, shows herself between salon appointments. All I’m saying is that I spend a lot of time pursuing trivial goals that turn out to be temporary, if not totally unsatisfying. 

Another Cheerio I chase is significance. As I stated in my blog series The Ultimate Selfie: Seeing Yourself As You Really Are we often think that we can only find satisfaction and worth in what we’ve accomplished. I struggle with this. As I get older (which happens with every heartbeat) I sometimes stress over the lack of notoriety I possess. I know. I’ve accomplished some things in my life that I’m proud of and thankful for. However, that is one cup that can never be filled. The more I get, the more I want.

Good King Solomon calls this quest striving (or chasing) after wind. In Ecclesiastes he lists several pursuits in this category: works, knowledge, authority, beauty, and so on. In fact, Solomon who was supposed to be the wisest man to ever live, let his acquisition of wisdom consume him and drag him into an ungodly life… and make him even hate his life.

 No. I’m not hating life at all. I’m loving my life, but I have to look into the cereal bowl every morning and promise not to pursue the last, illusive, unsatisfactory morsel.

 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is futility and striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14.

5 thoughts on “To Chase a Cheerio

  1. Karie

    You’re young. You’ll get over it Trust me. I’m older than you and the older I get, I realize those things just truly do not matter. Let the gray go. You will love it. Significance? Accomplishments? Highly overrated. It’s the simple things, my dear❤️

  2. Ramona+Pritchett

    I love your blogs. I enjoyed this and find myself chasing cheerios also. Love your analogy on this. Love you Cuz.

  3. Lynda Mazzella

    Love this!
    Solomon also said, Ecc.11:6 “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” We don’t know the power of a prayer or an encouraging word, a conversation, or a kind deed. You have no idea how far and wide your writings may go to touch hearts, inspire and create “thirst” to know more of God. He can use whatever we give Him to accomplish His purposes. A great deed in God’s eyes are measured by a different standard. Lord, help us be faithful.


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