Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Great RingDing Caper

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     Have you ever had a RingDing?  The RingDings from my childhood were delicious chocolate confections.  Gooey white cream filling inside chocolate cake, covered with milk chocolate.  These irresistible little snacks were wrapped in crinkly foil that was fun to make into coins or pirates treasure.  My mom brought them in for my two brothers and me and parceled them out for snacks, dessert, and good behavior.  We loved them.
     One summer afternoon when I was about 9, my brother, Don was 8, and my brother John was about 6, there was a RingDing mystery at our house.  Mom called the three of us in for questioning.  Someone had taken the last four RingDings from the box.  Mom shook the empty box as evidence.  Each of us solemnly declared our innocence of the crime and denied knowing who could have done such a thing.  Obviously, Dad must have eaten them and not told her about it.  Not getting the desired confession Mom gave up and sent us back out to play.
     Later that day we had dinner outside on the porch.  The RingDing theft was discussed but remained unsolved.  The three of us kids left the table to play on the lawn.  My parents sat watching us.
     We were catching the first fireflies of the evening and putting them in a jar.  Don caught more bugs than John or I.  He was faster ad not squeamish about touching them.  I was afraid of squishing them in my hand so I always held them too loosely.  John was nervous that they would bite, so he was more action than accomplishment.  He did a lot of chasing, but not much catching.
     Several events came together in one fateful moment.  Don was putting his latest firefly in the jar that I was holding.  John came in close to watch.  A single firefly managed to escape and landed on John's front pants pocket.  John had been leaning in but now he straightened up with a yelp.  A funny scratching sound came from the direction of the pocket.  Don, thinking the sound was the bug yelled, "The bug's in your pocket!"  
     Panic ensued.  John began screaming and running about flailing his arms.  Don started chasing him, smacking frantically at John's pocket.  John however, was fueled by fear and ran even faster.  He screamed, "It's biting me!"
     I screamed and joined the fray.  I didn't want to touch a bug, but I wouldn't have minded holding John down.  My Mom leapt up from her chair knocking it down and yelled for John to hold still.  
     Dad got into the chase.  He grabbed John on the fly in a tackle, both of them fell to the ground.  Dad cradled John so that even in the fall, John would not get hurt.  Dad swiftly reached into John's pocket to pull out the bug.  Out of the pocket came a handful of RingDing wrappers.
     The great RingDing caper had been solved with the help of a tiny firefly.
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     As children of our heavenly Father we sometimes carry our guilt around in our pockets.  We keep our guilt close.  We get depressed, sick, and anxious.  I am not referring to those areas in our life in which we willfully continue to sin.  If we need to bring an attitude or sin to God so that we have the grace not to continue in it then we should do so.  I am referring here to regretful circumstances in our past.  We know the things that we have done, that we wish we could undo, take back, or erase.  We may have asked God to forgive us for our past sins, and He has.  Yet sometimes we continue to hold on to the wrappers of our sin.
Romans 8:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose
If God is for us, who can  be against us?  Who will bring any charge against those who God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who was raised to life.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  No, in  all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 
     Our heavenly Father knocks us off of our feet with the power of His love.  He wraps His arms around us and takes our pain as His.  He reaches into our hidden places and takes away our sin.  What God forgives, He forgets.  If you give your regrets and sins to Jesus, He will give you grace and forgiveness.
    Did you call them RingDings or DingDongs?




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