Learning through Life

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Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Monday, 29 November 2010

The one with the handful

'Take a handful!'

Over the weekend one of our guests kindly offered my youngest son some of her Minstrels.  Being a chocolate lover, his eyes widened at the sight of the large bag of chocolates.   Before reaching into the bag, he looked at our guest as if to silently ask 'how many am I allowed to take?'  With astute perception she innocently answered 'take a handful'.  And that is what he did!  A rather huge handful!  Kids!  

 This incident triggered numerous giggling fits  as pictures of my son attempting to effectively hold and eat the chocolates flashed through our minds.  It really was comical.  

Throughout the weekend we discussed my son's literal interpretation of the direction to 'take a handful'.  To him this provided an opportunity to scoop up as many Minstrels into his hand as he could physically manage.  Why wouldn't he?  He loves chocolate!  It makes sense.  

However, to most adults (myself included) the same phrase brings about a different response.  'Take a handful' - becomes interpreted as 'take a few because you don't want to look greedy.'  The consequence of this interpretation results in the adult taking their hands out of the offered packet with only two or three chocolates.  How polite.  

So, whilst the children get to enjoy their acquired feast of chocolate, the adults are left with a tantalising taste of chocolate in their mouth.  Politeness aside - why do we do this?!  If we are offered a handful of chocolates, why do we not take it literally and grab as many as we like?  After all ... they were offered and we love chocolate!

As I have reflected on this today, I have realised that the inclination to settle for less does not stop with chocolates.  It may have an impact on an untold number of experiences in our lives.  Sadly, our ability to learn, to enjoy life,  or to love and be loved may be hindered as the 'take only a few' reaction kicks in. 

We may tell ourselves that we are not good enough.

We may believe that we do not deserve it.

We may assume that the offer is not really meant for us.


These incorrect understandings are often deeply embedded in our lives and can result in mediocrity being accepted as norm.  However, as mentioned in a previous post - Jesus came to give us 'life to the full' (John 10:10).  This fullness of life includes being offered total forgiveness of sins, unconditional love and full acceptance into God's family.  Amazing!  

And yet,  our 'take only a few' response can sometimes result in us being unable to fully accept this.

Let's find out and understand what it is God is offering, and reach in and grab all we can.  Jesus died in order to make this possible for us.  God will not be offended or think we are greedy if we 'take a handful' - because when he offers it to us - he really means it.  He loves us and wants us to accept all he has for us - so we can live our life to the full with him :) 

Ready to grab a handful? :)

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