His hand hovered over the chocolates. He paused, looked up, wordlessly asking, ‘How many am I allowed to take?’ With astute perception, she answered ‘Take a handful.’ And that is what he did! A rather huge handful!
When my embarrassment subsided, I considered my son’s literal interpretation of ‘take a handful‘. To him this provided an opportunity to scoop up as many chocolates into his hand as he could physically manage. Why wouldn’t he? He loves chocolate! It makes sense.
Would we have done the same? I am not so sure. To most adults (myself included) the same phrase usually triggers 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 tin with only one or two chocolates. How polite!
So, whilst children get to enjoy their acquired feast, 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, the offer is there and we love chocolate!
As I reflected on this response, it dawned on me 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. Take a handful, go for it, follow your dreams …
But we don’t.
We tell ourselves that we are not good enough.
We believe that we do not deserve it.
We assume that the offer is not really meant for us.
Nonsense! Why do we think this way?
These incorrect understandings are often deeply embedded in our lives, resulting in mediocrity being accepted as norm. Our ability to learn, to enjoy life, to love and be loved, is hindered as the ‘take only a few’ reaction kicks in. We stifle our experiences and our ability to fully participate in life, and say that this is ok.
However, Jesus came to give us ‘life to the full’ (John 10:10). Not a life living in the shadows or accepting second best.
This fullness of life includes being offered total forgiveness of sins, unconditional love and full acceptance into God’s family. And yet, our immediate response can result in us being unable to fully accept this.
Let’s find out and understand what 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 experience all he has for us – so we can live our life to the full with him.
Ready to grab a handful? 🙂