Cookies — revealer of hearts

by Barry Newton

Recently I became the cookie ghoul, but not by choice. I was simply supporting my son in an event, when suddenly an authoritative voice appointed me guardian and custodian of some sweet treats with a clear mandate: One cookie per person.

It was not long before kids began rushing over to the refreshment area. Like a neurotic parrot, my repeating message began. “One cookie per person.”

Immediately, a boy who was probably in middle school snatched two cookies and was headed toward his third, before I could say, “Stop! One cookie per person.” Even after my pronouncement he reached for a third cookie. “Stop! You cannot have another one.” He finally moved on.

As I supervised this cookie table, hearts were laid bare before me. Open defiance would quickly claim two cookies. Conniving disobedience feigning compliance would either pick up a double-decker cookie wrapped in a napkin or try to get into line more than once.

I can only imagine their rationalizations.

  • “Its only a cookie. What’s the big deal?”
  • “I’m hungry.”
  • “Who does he think he is?”
  • “Where did this cookie Nazi come from?”
  • “In the past I could get as many cookies as I wanted!”
  • “Nobody tells me what to do.”

The beautiful, submissive, and disciplined hearts were easy to spot as they passed through the line. Although every fiber in their body tore at them to claim multiple cookies, nevertheless they obeyed. Even in this small silly matter, they respected authority.

How could I not reflect upon Luke 16:10? “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much.”

Admittedly, Jesus was addressing wealth on that occasion. Nevertheless, the principle remains valid. Small matters do provide insight into our hearts revealing those principles that will be driving larger matters.

Previously, I had never thought about cookies revealing our hearts.  But then, I guess all of life continually provides small windows into what lies within.

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