There are some things about which it is best to be ignorant. Take bittersweet chocolate, for example. Of all my culinary sins, overindulgence in chocolate is not one of them but a friend recently introduced me to some mighty powerful temptation. Alongside fresh raspberries and fresh baked pound cake she served a bowl of the processed Cacao, melted and blended with butter and thick cream. It was deadly and except for the berries, I resolved to keep our house free from that particular combination of ingredients.
Laying aside the enticement of such an indulgence, I decided to opt for a more academic approach. I looked up the definition of bittersweet and in doing so, discovered something else. Bittersweet is also a vine-like climbing plant (genus Celastrus, family Celastraceae) that bears clusters of bright orange pods. If I understood correctly, the plant is both invasive and poisonous. And all this time I thought it was just a word to describe something that tastes good in the beginning but leaves a harsh, bitter aftertaste.
As far fetched as it may seem, that whole scenario made me think of our journey through life. From the time we are capable of making decisions we're exposed to what I now call "the bittersweet syndrome". Sometimes we learn, very painfully, that actions bring consequences. We make unwise decisions and come face to face with the harsh realities that follow. We face tough challenges but reap the sweet rewards of victory. Life is full of bittersweet and no one is exempt.
Like my friend's delectable dessert, the secret is in blending the ingredients: difficulties, wonderful achievements, successes, dumb mistakes and rejoicing in the blessings we have been granted.
"The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22
There's no sweetness to compare with that.