Thursday, September 10, 2009

Doughnut Shop Theology

I'm not generally one who finds lovely little analogies in everyday moments. But today, I saw something that simply begged for me to tell it.

A little girl and her grandma sat down in Tim Horton's for an afternoon treat. One must have been about seven and-a half (my guess based on the two-tooth sized gap at the bottom of her smile). The other, sixty years older or so. The little one was a tow-head with straight, fine hair past her shoulders. The older one, gracefully coloured hair in a beautiful shade of auburn. The young one had pale, unblemished skin, the older had dark spots of age smattering across her hands. The contrast was so striking.

Grandma opened a bag containing two long johns covered in chocolate, each with a dash of sprinkles on one end. In typical zest-of-youth style, the girl dove into her long john sprinkled end first. Grandma started at the other end, apparently saving the best for last. I watched them enjoying one another's company, chit-chatting about their weeks, nibbling away until their doughnuts were less than half their original size.

Then the grandma reached out to her grand-daughter, and offered to trade doughnuts with her. The girl seemed a bit confused, but quickly accepted the trade once she realized that she would have the pleasure of eating BOTH of the sprinkled ends.

Their exchange reminded me of the Christian walk.

When we are "young" we tend to dive in to "the good stuff" as quickly as possible. We don't want to wait even one moment for those delicious sprinkles. We don't hesitate or waste any time.

As we get "older" we take things more slowly. We tend to wait, hoping to save the best for last. We savour every single bit that takes us closer to the sprinkled end.

Neither approach is wrong, nor right - just different. Sometimes it's wisest to go slowly and methodically, waiting for the good things God has in store. Other times we should hurry and do what He asks quickly, with all our hearts and energy.

The true beauty, though, is what happens if we do the "wrong" thing. Perhaps sometimes we jump in, full of fervour, not thinking of the consequences. We rush ahead of God's plan and push our way through. We eat the sprinkles first, when we should have saved them for later. But God, in His ever-patient and understanding way, seldom lets us end that way. He doesn't like to leave us empty and disappointed, having gobbled down the sweet sprinkles too quickly. Rather, He extends His hand of grace and trades doughnuts with us. He lets us have the delicious reward at the end of the journey, in spite of our own impulsiveness.

We sit there, confused. Knowing that we did nothing to deserve such a sweet reward. That's the perfection of God's grace - He is ready to hand us the end with the sprinkles on it, even before we ask.

* This is an archived post from September, 2008.

3 comments:

  1. The grandma giving the 'sprinkled end' is a lovely gesture in itself.

    Bit like the prodigal son story... he had his half of the fathers wealth... and later was surprised to receive more from his forgiving father.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These type of heart warming stories are a regular occurance at Tim Horton's. It something in the coffee . . . . later, I've somewhere to go!

    ReplyDelete

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