Okay, I heard this story on the radio, and I absolutely loved it. I've told it a few times, but I figured I'd write it down in case it inspired anyone else. At the very least, it will make you smile.
So, the radio lady is just talking about her little daughter who is three, almost four, and how they are just starting to have to talk about the idea of truth. Up until now, the little girl pretty much just always told the truth, because she didn't realize there was another option (reminds me of The Invention of Lying, if you've seen that). Anyway, that's where they are in the little girl's development.
So one evening she asks her dad if she can have some marshmellows. He tells her no, not right now, but you can have some after dinner. "Okay," she says. Then a second later she says, "I just want to hold the bag." He kind of laughs and says alright. (Big mistake daddy!) But it is funny to picture this little girl just asking to hold the bag of marshmellows since she can't eat them.
A couple of minutes later he hears a crinkle-crinkle from the kitchen and heads in to check it out. She is actually in the pantry with the bag in her hand (isn't it funny how we know to hide when we are doing something wrong?). He asks her if she ate a marshmallow and she shakes her head no. Then he gets down to her level and asks her to open her mouth. She melts instantly, all tears and sobbing, totally breaking down in her guilt. So they have a nice little chat about telling the truth and all that jazz.
But the radio lady says that she just keeps thinking about how the little girl said, "I just want to hold the bag." And how often we do that to God. For some reason, I was just really struck by that comparison.
He tries to point us in the right direction and head us off from making mistakes, clearly saying NO to something we shouldn't have. And we say, okay God, I understand. Umm, but I just want to hold the bag, okay? I'm not actually going to EAT the marshmallows (engage in the sin, abuse a blessing), I just want to be able to hold on to it. How ridiculous are we???? We are totally just like the 3-year old child, unable to only hold onto the bag, but instinctively grabbing a bite.
I guess for me it was just a wake-up call to have an awareness of areas in my life I might be holding on to, and realize that they are inevitably going to lead to me making a bad decision. If God says no, He has a good reason, and I can be sure it is for my benefit. I just need to be willing to let go of the bag, and trust that I'll get the good stuff later.