Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We All Scream for Ice Cream

I bumped into a friend at Trader Joe's this afternoon. Our daughters were especially delighted -- shopping with friends is a much more diverting way to get groceries. We wove our way in and out of the aisles, the girls chatting non-stop in our wake. After quickly filling our carts, we headed to adjoining checkout counters. I smiled at the similarities in our food choices, especially when I saw the chocolate filled Joe Joe's waiting at the end of each of our counters. The groceries all bagged, we finally pried our girls apart and said goodbye.

Now, I bought the Joe Joe's on purpose. That sounds obvious, but I really did intentionally buy cookies -- their purchase wasn't the result of a weak, impulsive moment. Because I've realized something. My children like dessert. This, too, sounds very obvious. What child doesn't like dessert? For that matter, what adult doesn't like dessert?

But one day last week it finally dawned on me. Every evening after dinner my little quartet chimes, "Mom? Do we have anything for dessert?" Sometimes my answer is "Yes!" (oh the cheers) and sometimes my answer is "Not tonight guys . . . ." (oh the bravery). I realized how much it means to them. I realized that it's not so much the sweet little something to savor at the end of a meal. It's also the anticipation of the grand finale -- the anticipation of that little reward that says, "Let's celebrate this day, even if it's been a long and tough one. We're all together, and this moment is good."

There's something heavenly about dessert. And I want my kids to know that. I want them to know that at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, there is joyous hope. And not just for those grumpy ones who are stalling with broccoli trees on their plate. We all want it. We're all asking for dessert, every moment of every day. We all desperately need to know that there is something sweet and glorious around the bend.

That yearning for the sweet and glorious is the yearning for Jesus. And one day, all craving will be satisfied. One day we'll share an amazing meal with our Lord. And we won't even think to ask for dessert.
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