By Chuck Griffin
lot of people hate the advertising on their web browsers, but I’ve been unusually happy with mine the last few days. Earlier in the week, a relative was trying to remember what a circus peanut looks like, so I searched for a picture of one on my phone.
The software that pokes around in my browser took note that I had an interest in candy. Now I’m getting ads for candy of all kinds. My web pages regularly come decorated with bright jelly beans, gumdrops, gummy bears, nonpareils, and of course, circus peanuts in pink, yellow, white and classic orange.
I’m so happy with this result, I make sure I click on the ads from time to time, just so they will continue popping up. Thanks, Criteo!
Last night, I was showing my wife an unusually pretty offering of brightly colored “fruit slice” jelly candies for sale. It reminded me of the sleeve of fruit slices my mother would buy me at the candy counter in Sears before we went to a movie.
“Remember how candy was a very serious, very important subject when we were kids?” I asked my wife. “As I get older, I realize just how right we were.”
I know: Waistline, risk of diabetes, tooth decay, etc. But those concerns aside, there is simple joy—bright primary colors, explosive flavors, the heady rush of sugar. They all draw you very much into the present moment.
And being a pastor, I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:14-15: “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
The Kingdom of God is, after all, the sweetest truth. This broken world can really hurt us, but there’s a new way dawning, an eternal life free from the havoc wrought by sin, and we can taste that new life now. When we sense the Kingdom of God breaking into this world—perhaps in a song, a story, or a relationship—that moment can be a real rush, and we naturally want more.
Christianity is exhilarating stuff, and like a child, we should take what we’re being offered very seriously.
Lord, thank you for those moments when your plan becomes so evident, all we can do is smile. Amen.