It was just another tiring Monday at work. All the employees at our company (that’s three people in all), were hitting roadblocks in our work and so the boss decided that we’d all go out for some samosas and chai.
One would have to be a fool to say no to that suggestion and so, off we went, heading for this little chai joint that was hardly a hundred meters away from the office.
While walking towards the place, we noticed there were three little girls in rags, huddled up in a circle. They seemed to be hitting something that they held in their hands, tapping it constantly, seemingly trying to clean the object that they held. On closer inspection, we saw that it was a piece of a glazed doughnut that was covered with ants. The girls had found this little piece under a car and were trying to clean it up just enough so they could get a bite of this sugar coated bread-like-food.
We stared at them for a while, looking in pity; but even as we stared, we did not stop walking – we continued towards the shop – we knew there were chai and samosas waiting for us.
The boss, however, took a small detour, and as we continued to watch the girls, he walked into a doughnut store, picked up a box of sugar glazed doughnuts, and headed back outside, towards the girls.
“Stop that”, he said, looking at them sternly.
The girls turned around to see this man, almost ready to argue with him, but stopped as soon as they saw the huge box of doughnuts in his hand. They ran to him in glee, with their hands raised up –
“Brother, give us brother, please..,” they cried out.
He handed it to them, gladly, on the condition that they would give up the old doughnut – the one that was covered in ants – to which the girls happily agreed.
I mean, why wouldn’t they? Why would they not agree to give up something they found on the street, something that was a messy, icky, tiny piece of a whole, covered in dirt and ants? Why would they not want to give it up for the whole – for what they were really after?
They would’ve been fools to refuse the offer, wouldn’t they?
But I wonder – would they still have listened to him if they hadn’t seen the box of doughnuts in his hands?
Would they still have given up chasing after the spoilt one? Would they still have obeyed this strange man who was asking them to let go what they were after in that moment?
Or…what if he had given them only a promise – a promise of better doughnuts on the condition that they’ll give up the old one? Would they have listened to him?
Our heart’s natural desire is towards comfort and ease and instant glorification, towards our stomach desires regardless of whether or not it’s going to make us sick- sick enough to die. It’s never been towards submission, obedience and sacrifice of the temporary.
We are not a generation who waits patiently, who realises that in the waiting and giving up of mouldy food, a feast like we can never have fathomed is being prepared for us. That we never ever have to settle for scraps. All of our soul searching and feasting is a downward spiral of fumbling across our sin and our needs, when our eyes should be higher; remembering the promises that have been made towards us, remembering the nature of God who has made these promises.
When we forget God and his promises, He still remains faithful.
I wonder what our lives would look like if if we realigned our ways to be in tune with His plan, how our lives would flourish if we said, “Yes, Lord,” instead of, “But I want all of it now”
When we step into His will and the things He’s called us to that we’d otherwise turn down, it breeds opportunities of joy, of fulfillment, of rewards far beyond our eyes and hearts can see.
Lose the messy, tiny, ant – filled doughnut. Make room for the glorious feast.