faith · family

the bunny or the chocolate

In loving memory of Irene Gladys Duerr Gibson…

When I was younger, my parents and oldest brother went on a mission trip with his high school choir. My middle brother and I were too young to go so we stayed with my Aunt Irene and Uncle Tony for the week. it happened to be over Easter break, so one of the days we went to a community egg hunt. It was one of those where you looked for plastic eggs and if there was something inside it, you get a prize. I found one with a ticket and brought it up to the table. There were lots of prizes to choose from so after looking through everything quite carefully, I was thinking about taking either a cute little stuffed bunny or a huge chocolate thing – I dont remember now, but I think it was also a bunny.

My aunt, in her wisdom, said, well, honey, maybe you should think about the stuffed bunny. You can always get chocolate any time, but that bunny is precious and will last a lot longer.

And she was absolutely right.

It was a lesson I should have taken to heart a little more than I did. It was a lesson about what really lasts and what we give up for temporal fleeting things. It was about all the times I should have listened to my heart and realized that whatever pleasure I get right here right now may not be worth the pain, sorrow, guilt, confusion, drama, criticism, etc etc, that will come about and stick around for way way way too long.  We are a society based on quick and easy, fast and furious (up to 5!), now now now.  We don’t wait for anything, and we certainly don’t want to be without something.

And I am the worst of all sinners. I have traded gold for pebbles, thrown pearls before swine. I have set the table to dine with wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony, treating them as honored guests, letting them rob me and all my household of prized possessions. And now, I have nothing to show for all my wealth, thrown away by time and poor choices, by disbelief and arrogance.

But the tide turns, praise be to God, and the true wealth among all we can ever possess does not leave us. Love and Hope and Faith endure and walk through the fire with us.  Grace and Truth are steadfast and sure, come back again and again like the sun and the moon, the waves of the ocean, and the spring. We are wise to embrace all These and invite Them in, again and again. And the more we give to Them, the more we receive, in good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over.

And that’s what I learned from a bunny. And an Aunt.

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