“Who likes chocolate?” Almost all of the girls raise their hands.
“Who thinks they could go 1 day without chocolate?” Again the majority raise their hands.
“Who thinks they could go 1 week without chocolate?” Some don’t raise their hands, but most do.
This goes on… “A month?” “Six months?” “A year?” By the time I get to a year most all of the girls hands are down. They don’t think they could go without chocolate for that long.
Next I hand out full size candy bars. I let them pick their favorite kind. I have them take one bite. And then I walk around with a trash can and make them all throw the candy away.
When I make them throw away the candy bars, they are furious with me. They tell me I’m mean. One girl shoves the whole thing in her mouth before I get to her. They ask if they can get them out of the trash, and it’s complete chaos and frustration.
Almost all of the girls said they could go without chocolate for a day and yet were furious when I said they couldn’t have the chocolate 10 minutes later. I use this to illustrate that it’s easy to say you can or can’t do something until it’s right in front of you. In the moment, it’s a lot harder. I often use this illustration when giving the girls my talk about sex. But really it could apply to so many different parts of life.
I’ve thought about this illustration a lot since Enoch, mainly during worship. The songs are catchy; the words rhyme; and they say nice things about God and living for him. But do I mean them? Lyrics like “I surrender ALL,” “When the boat is tossed upon the waves, even in the storms I’ll follow you,” and “I lay down my life, whatever the cost.” I could go on and on. Lyrics to songs I love. Lyrics I have sang for years. But honestly they are hard lyrics… Surrendering everything is hard.
I don’t blame my girls for wanting the candy bars after I tempted them. Equally I sing songs in church, and when hard circumstances hit, they are harder live out.
So when I sing, I ask myself, “Do I mean it?” Do I mean it when I sing all of these lyrics about the sacrifice it takes to fully follow and fully obey Christ? I want to mean and live out every word. Recently I’ve thought about those lyrics before I sang them. I don’t want to talk and sing about these things at Church and then not be able to live it out when I walk out the doors. Because “I give you all the glory,” means I give Him all the glory even during tragedy – even when my son dies.
**The chocolate bar illustration I modified from a friend and co-worker, Scott Calhoun, from years ago.