Fighting Over the Imaginary Cookie!

Brian Holt's picture

For those that don’t know, my wife and I have three kids at home ages 12, 10 and 4. The older two are brother and sister and the youngest is the little brother. The reason I explain it that way is because the older two are more rivals then siblings and then there is this little brother thing that interrupts the older two’s ecosystem and that presents a whole new element of fun that I’ll get into shortly. For the time being let’s go into why this blog is entitled what it is what on Earth that has to do with God or Jesus or anything Kingdom related for that matter.

Let’s first paint the picture shall we? My youngest son decided one day to play “Pretend” (you know the game that so many kids now-a-days don’t know how to play) and he decided to be a chef. His objective was to cook a very fancy meal for me and the rest of the family. He asked me want I wanted and of course I requested the fried lizards with fly eyes with dog snot soufflé or something outrageous like that. Without hesitation he said he didn’t have that on the menu but that I could have chicken instead. I retorted and requested the steak cooked medium with a side of sautéed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes. He obliged and immediately, went to work and magically within two seconds it was all ready for me served on a platter. Impressed beyond words, I thanked him for his artistic plate presentation and begin to eat the imaginary steak, even acting out cutting the perfectly cooked meat. I of course, made all kinds of complimentary noises and gestures on how good his pretend steak was. He was smiling ear to ear – too cute I must say!

Moving on immediately to the dessert he prepares the whole family imaginary cookies. How nice huh? So as he passes out the cookies to everyone and he hands out different flavors of cookies to each individual. Without fail the older two kids decide that they were not satisfied with their imaginary cookie and decided that the only cure to their dilemma was to have the other’s cookie. Seems like a simple transaction here doesn’t it? OH NO! They could never do that because that would mean that both would have to compromise and that could never happen between those two – no way!!! It’s like Ali and Frazier between those two and let me tell you, they like to go at it. So without hesitation my kids break out in a “real” argument about what “pretend” cookie each other had and how it isn’t fair that they didn’t get what the other one got. I couldn’t believe it! My kids had stooped to an all-time low with this one. I quickly reacted and broke up the verbal and slightly physical brawl while giving them that mixed face of confusion and disgust only a parent can give. They all three had to know how silly they looked to me but unfortunately they didn’t want to admit that and simply moved to fight another day.

Ok so I hoped you liked the story, but what does that have to do with anything spiritual in nature? Well, let me try to crowbar something in here and perhaps make some correlation to how my kids reacted and how we as adults act when we don’t get what we want from God. The first thing you should notice is that at first my kids were perfectly fine without the imaginary cookie but when they got the cookie it wasn’t the one they wanted. Instead they wanted the other’s cookie only because it was the other’s cookie. Second thing to notice is that they didn’t believe that what they had received was fair. That’s funny because according to my observation they had never requested it to start with. They had received more than their fair share simply because they never deserved it to start with. It was just a gift and besides they could make the imaginary cookie taste like anything they wanted just by changing their attitude and outlook of the cookie.

Now think about all that as a fun drill I challenge readers to think of the imaginary cookies in their own lives. Perhaps they involve your possessions and money or lack-there-of. Perhaps the cookies are found in your marriage and/or your children there are times you wish you had a different one. Cookies can frequently be found on the job and too often we find imaginary cookies to fight about for no good reason. I could go on and on…friendships, family, dating relationships, church issues, school issues, etc., etc., etc..

Though fighting for our imaginary cookie may seem real and sometimes is, it’s not always worth fighting for. Sometimes we need to be content with the cookie we’ve been dealt. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he talks about being content (Phil 4:12) and how he found joy in his cookie…well not exactly in those terms but you get the point. Keep in mind that every cookie were given from God is sufficient and is delicious and even though we might want more and different flavors to boot we really need to simply be grateful of what we get, be content and honor Him for his gift. It doesn’t hurt to ask God for an abundance, just know that God will only give you want he believes you can handle.

So if you’re going to fight over cookies, perhaps you need to step back and see if what you’re fighting for is real or imaginary and how silly do you look to your Heavenly Father. And that’s how the cookie crumbles folks!


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