Disclaimer: If the struggle that brings you to this Blog is compulsive eating, as mine is, please know that the cookie in the starring role is symbolic and is in no way meant to be a trigger. Please do not use this as an excuse to start baking. If you think this will be a problem read no further.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Minus the Chips
There’s an old classic movie starring the late President of the USA, Ronald Reagan, called “Bedtime for Bonzo.” Bonzo is an unruly, very bright chimpanzee living with a scientist and a foster mother. Their objective is to use modern child rearing techniques in raising Bonzo and prove that nurture is more powerful than nature.
When I was in the middle of motherhood I used the title of the movie to add a little levity to that time of day when kids seem to wind up and moms want to wind down. At dusk I’d scoop my own little chimp (of the pre-school variety) into my arms and say with authority, “It’s bedtime for Bonzo!” Those were words that conveyed to the child that the awake part of their day was very close to being over and that the bedtime routine was about to begin – the toothbrush, the potty, a little Dr. Seuss, a bit of scripture, a prayer, and the final seal on the deal, a small drink of water.
I have presently worked myself out of a job and my children have worked themselves into one. Enforcing “Bedtime for Bonzo” is no longer my work, but sometimes I get a play by play report from one of my children. The following is a bedtime account with a message.
“Gracie, it’s time to come in!” calls my daughter out the back door.
Gracie walks through the French door with a smile on her face.
“Time to go upstairs and get ready for bed,” says Mommy.
“Can I have a goodnight snack?” counters Gracie hopefully.
“Sure, do you want a cookie?”
Then Gracie gets a bit particular. “I want a chocolate chip cookie,” she says with a “that’s the only thing I’ll accept,” look in her eyes.
“Well, that’s good cuz that’s what we’ve got,” responds Mommy as she reaches her hand into the Ziploc bag, picks up a cookie, and hands it to Gracie.
With the cookie in hand Gracie takes one glance and says with redheaded, three year old intensity, “I want a chocolate chip cookie!!!”
Gracie’s mommy reports, “Just as I was trying to turn the cookie over and show her that 10-15 chocolate chips had settled and were visible from the bottom, she broke the cookie in half and in dramatic frustration threw it across the room crying, “It doesn’t have any chocolate chips!
With that my daughter scooped up her little Bonzo and headed toward bed.
Gracie’s mom and I had a good laugh as she rehearsed this incident. Making chocolate chip cookies is not rocket science and neither is the message in this story. All I have to do is cast the Lord in the parent role and myself as the demanding three year old. I know there have been many times when the Lord has delivered to me just what I requested. But I have to wonder how many times I’ve seen His perfect gift as a chocolate chip cookie minus the chocolate chips and with impatience and suspicion hastily discarded it with an angry flare and the unspoken thought, “I knew He wouldn’t give me what I wanted!”
I’ll never know how many divine gifts I’ve recklessly rejected. Like Gracie, I imagine the Lord picks my belligerent self up in his arms and takes me to my room for a little time out with a “Sorry, no snack for you tonight!”
The Lord knows our tendency to doubt His goodness. He tries to reassure us with these words:
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:9-13)
In recovery we come to know that we have a Savior who can be trusted. His joy is to bless us with exactly the thing we need most. Today I practice trusting that what the Lord sends my way this very hour is for the best, my best. He wants me to take a good hard look at the thing in question until I find the good part, the part that might not be visible at first glance, the part that lies beneath the surface and sometimes well beneath. I’m not perfect at living continually in this frame of mind, but I am making progress. The times when I throw the cookie across the room are getting to be fewer and farther between.
James testified that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”(James 1:17).
It’s a powerful, joyful, “Christmas every-day” thing to live in anticipation of the Lord’s generosity. So my friends, turn that cookie over. Pray for eyes to see. Look at it from every angle. The Lord doesn’t want you to miss out on single chocolate chip!
By Nannette W. Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All rights reserved. Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit. This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.
PS This post is a bit of a landmark for me. It’s my 200th post. I want to thank you all for reading and for your kind comments. They fuel the fire that keeps me writing. Some of you I may never have the opportunity to meet. Please know that my prayers are with all of you. I know that the Lord is aware of each of you individually. I know that He loves you and will bless you in whatever challenges you face. My prayer is that the gospel principles that each of these thoughts represent will impact your lives for good.