I ate your candy

I ate your candy

Nov 06
I ate your candy

It’s that time of year again.  Time to watch videos of parents pranking their children by telling them that they ate all of the Halloween candy.  I’m always amused at the reactions of the children.  Some of the children are very gracious and forgiving.  Others throw tantrums.  A rare few even curse at their parents.

These videos are insightful allegories for how we react to God when we feel like He takes something from us.

The videos begin with the parent telling the child that the parent had eaten all of the child’s Halloween candy.  What the child believes about their parent and candy determines how they react.

What I find most interesting is that nearly all of the children believe that the parent would actually eat their candy.  The child doesn’t seek to make this new information “fit” with what they know of the parent.  Very likely the child has been disciplined at some point by the parent.  The parent has probably denied them something they wanted, or has taken something away from them as a punishment.  From the child’s perspective, the parent would eat all of the candy.  Only in very rare circumstances do we see a video of a child asking, “Why would you do that?”

In other words, the child sees the parent as someone who is capable and willing to take something without reason.  The child believes that the parent is capable of being mean and unfair.  And in their “suffering” the child is incapable of reasoning that perhaps the parent had a good reason to eat their candy.

Almost always, the child immediately fixates on what he or she has lost or what has been denied to them.  Their first thought is of themselves and their loss.  They wanted candy, they had candy, but now they no longer have candy and they are angry.

Most of the children in the videos throw a fit.  They scream.  They yell.  They shout at the parent to “shut up” or “go away.”  They tell the parent that they hate him or her.  There is almost always a child or two who talks about how hard they worked to get the candy.  Some children grab things and throw them, or try to break things.  In nearly every case, the reaction of the child isn’t just one of being upset – the reaction is ugly.

All because they think they lost some candy.

The parent, on the other hand, knows how important the candy is to the child and would never eat it.  The candy is always still intact.  The parent would never deliberately hurt the child, especially not in such a heartless fashion.  What kind of loving parent would take their child trick-or-treating, only to devour all of the candy?

Naturally, this reminds me of Jesus’s words about good parents.  He said that if we know how to treat our children well, imagine how much more our perfect Parent knows how to treat us.

In addition to the fact that the parent would never actually eat the child’s candy, the parent knows that candy is easily replaced.  There is nothing the child could have lost (had the parent actually eaten the candy) that the parent couldn’t quickly and easily replace.  Providing candy to the child is well within the power of the parent.

Lastly, the parent knows that candy is trivial in the grand scheme of life – whether or not the child has candy, or how much, is immaterial to the kind of person the child will become or the level of success the child will achieve.  The candy is just a thing, and a very cheap thing at that — certainly not worth the overreaction from the child.  The parent has a perspective on candy that the child does not.  And now, based on the reaction from the child, the parent can see just how much the child overvalued the candy.

And how much the child undervalued the parent.

Thankfully, in the collection of videos are some true gems where the child reacts in a way that makes us smile and say, “Aw!  How sweet!”  These are the children who quickly forgive the parent.  The children who say, “I’ll just get more next year.”  The children who say, “I still love you.”  These are the children to whom we want to give MORE candy because of how graciously they accept the loss and how they value the parent more than the candy.

We all have our “candy.”  Those things that we hope with all our hearts that God doesn’t take away from us.  Things that, were He to take them, just might impact our relationship with Him.  Would we simply accept that it is within His character to be cruel?  Would we focus only on our loss?  Would we throw a tantrum, lash out, scream, yell at Him to go away, or even curse Him?

I encourage you to watch some of these videos on YouTube and find yourself as one of the children in them.  It is so easy for us to put ourselves in the role of the adult and be shocked (or outraged) at the responses of the children.  However, with respect to our Creator, we are the child.  He is the parent.

When the time comes that He “eats our candy,” I hope that we will follow the examples of some of these sweet children and say, “You mean more to me than my candy.”

2 comments

  1. moo

    Chris

    Very cute article
    I saw some of these on Jimmy Kimble
    Your article has a very good message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *