Today I had the privilege of watching my little nephew, Kellen. The morning was typical at first, with the half hour before school being crunch time. Discussing outfits, gobbling down breakfast, brushing teeth, finding socks, undoing braids and re-doing pony tails, checking homework folders, packing lunches, tying shoelaces, warming the car, prayers and kisses…and we were off! Miraculously, we were a bit ahead of schedule despite having an extra body to load and buckle.
Once we stretched our necks and waved goodbye until mine disappeared into school, I turned to Kellen, “Now, what shall we do?” His ardent, blue eyes stared firm back into mine, professing, “donuts!” Whether that pitch came from Kellen, or the fierce, adversarial spirit that lives within me testifying that I love sugar…I’m not sure. Either way, we were in agreement. Excitedly, we turned the big 9-seater toward Donutland! Although Donutland is extremely close to the middle school, there was just enough time for a million scrutinizing thoughts about our game plan to flood my mind. “Selena, are you going to get a donut?” “You already had two oatmeal-banana protein cookies this morning, you’re not hungry.” “The scale is finally going back down, after all the fun you had this summer.” “But, what if I just get a few of those tiny donut holes?” “It’s going to smell soooo good in there.” “Selena, can you ever go more than just a few days without sugar?” “Maybe I’ll just skip lunch.” “I’ll eat veggies for dinner.” “I’ll work out extra hard today.” “Will my rear end ever look like it did before 3 explosive labors, 1,000 hours in a rocking chair and 12 years of mothering anyway?” “Oh, no! We’re here!” We parked, walked up to the door, swung it open and I had to face the moment of truth.
That moment of truth wasn’t what I expected. Before us, sitting at several different tables, were 12 to 15 elderly people enjoying coffee and donuts with one another. I had to ask myself what day it was, in view of them being dressed as if it were Sunday. The old men, with their slacks and nice shoes, flannels and hats (removed of course). The women, adorning colorful beads that lay soft on their knitted sweaters, with lipstick and their hair done up just right. They weren’t all together, but as I glanced around I noticed that they were all enjoying each other’s company. Moreover, they were enjoying those sweet donuts like it was their last meal! One little lady, who had to be only 5 ft. tall and 100 lbs., was savoring every bite of a custard-filled, chocolate-frosted donut the size of her face! As I marveled at this sight, I noticed there weren’t any electronic devices joining them. They weren’t glancing down to check a smart phone, only up…into each others’ faces. They were absorbed into their conversations, barely aware of the clamoring door being swung open.
Then, truth hit me in the face…or maybe the heart. These souls aren’t worried about the fat content in their donuts. They aren’t calorie counting or thinking about how to burn off what they just ate. They aren’t concerned with the grams of sugar in their donuts, only the sweet fellowship taking place in their environment. They were devouring sweet stuff alright…the kind of sweet stuff God alone can bring to the table. Exactly the kind of sweetness my dear friend described just the other day.
While on a walk, this phenomenal mother shared with me an activity she did with her children. She wanted to reiterate the importance of not complaining. She had them fill each of their socks with tiny rocks. Next, she gave each of them a mouthwatering piece of candy. She then instructed them to put their socks on and walk around, while sucking on their candy. Their entire family of 5 walked around the living room, with rocks in their socks, slurping on candy. “Wow, this candy is soooo good!” she exclaimed, with a smile. Her husband (in on the lesson) reacted differently, bemoaning, “Ouch! These rocks hurt! I can’t walk!” The kids mostly laughed while slurping and wobbling around. However, after the activity, they had an earnest discussion about focusing on the “sweet stuff” rather than the hard stuff. Oh, how all of us need that lesson!
The elderly people in the donut shop this morning…they had that lesson down. They were comfortable with who they were in life. They weren’t fretting about body image, or who might be watching, or where they had to be next. They were relaxed in their own skin and cared for in the arms of a living, loving God. He’s given us life, so sweet, and he wants us to drink up every last drop! We may need to remind ourselves, “everything in moderation.” But God’s blessings are never in moderation. They are abundant. They act as a flood, capsizing our hearts and changing us forever. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows.” (John 10;10, AMP)
While I did enjoy some of the sweet stuff Donutland had to offer today (with no shame whatsoever!), I also got to partake of something much more satisfying. I ingested the long lasting taste of the Lord and His goodness, by witnessing souls live life to the fullest, and connecting with a special 3 year old. Definitely, sweet stuff!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8, NIV)