This morning, I walked into our church kitchen to see a box of cookies, cinnamon rolls and other sweets sitting on the counter. There is a local restaurant that cannot sell the bread and sweets the make the day after they are baked, so boxes of sweets and bread are donated to our church each week. We then use that bread in our food pantry to give to those in need. However, not all of the items are always given away. Sometimes we have extra goodies and on those occasions those who find them first get their pick of goodies to eat! Having not eaten breakfast, I was especially excited to see the box sitting there. I looked in the box to see several things that did not look really appetizing; but then, tucked away under a cherry danish, waiting patiently for me to find it, was a cinnamon scone. I love all things cinnamon! I reached in and pulled a piece off anticipating its deliciousness. I took a bite of the chunk in my hand, ready for its sweet, cinnamon yummy-ness to hit my taste buds only to discover that it was some kind of horrid berry flavored scone! I couldn’t even get myself to swallow the piece I had in my mouth. With much disappointment, I threw away the rest of the deceiving sweet roll.
How many times in our own lives do we pick up something, thinking it’s just what we want or need, only to be disappointed by what it really is? Looks really can be deceiving. This roll, at first glance, had every appearance of being exactly what I wanted, what I loved, but it was the complete opposite.
The truth is, if I had been paying attention – if I had slowed down and really looked at what I was picking up out of the box – it would have been totally clear to me that the spots in the scone were not cinnamon chunks, but berries. I was so excited by the prospect of the much loved cinnamon that I didn’t take the time to really think that it could possibly be something else.
So many times in my life, I see thing things that look really, really good; but, upon further inspection, it becomes clear that what looks so good is not at all what I want or need in my life. Paul says in Ephesians 5:15-16a, “Be very careful, then, how you live – Not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity”. God asks us in this verse to “be very careful” in how we live. Not because He wants to spoil our fun or make us miserable while others are having the time of their lives, but because while we see cinnamon deliciousness, He sees reality.
So, as we walk through these moments that we call life, let’s slow down for a bit and take the time to really look at what we are picking up to put into our lives. Let’s “be very careful” that what we think is goodness is not really a deception that will leave us disappointed and disgusted.