August 14, 2022

Life is Like a Bag of Skittles

HDR image of Skittles.
HDR image of Skittles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the summer of 1994, I attended the Csehy Summer School of Music, down in Muncy, Pennsylvania (it has since moved). Getting prepared for the two weeks I would be spending there, and actually having everything I needed were two different things. Upon arriving at Csehy, I realized that I was indeed missing something, and my parents volunteered to go over to the nearby mall to purchase the needed materials. They dropped them off while I was in a planned activity, and when I return, I noticed that they had also bought for me a bag of Skittles. I was amazed, and greedily tore open the bag, ripping it down the side, and causing Skittles to pour out of the bag, and onto my bed. I left them there until it was time for bed. I tried my best to get as many Skittles back into the bag as possible, and I stuffed them into the drawer with all my clothes.

The next day, all throughout the day, I was digging into the bag of Skittles, and each time I took some more out, some Skittles would fall into my drawer. I thought nothing of this, and continued to eat the Skittles, even the ones that had fallen into my drawer. Days passed, and with the heat and humidity of that week, the Skittles began to melt. I was beginning to figure out that, unlike those chocolate M&Ms which melt in your mouth and not in your hand, Skittles would melt in my drawer. Late in the week, I noticed that some of my clothes began to have new, colorful markings on them, in sort of circular patterns . . . Skittles! By this time, the Skittles had proceeded to melt onto a dress shirt, a sweat shirt, a sweater, a pair of jeans, and other articles of clothing. Instead of how many fruit flavor combinations, it was how many color combinations!

To my dismay, I sorted through the entire drawer, separating the clothing into what was “gooped” and what wasn’t. The “gooped” stuff went into the wash. The rest went back into my drawer. This vastly decreased the size of my wardrobe. Fortunately I had enough clothes to last me until the next wash day.

What is the lesson in this, you ask? You see, I put my trust in those Skittles. I put them in my drawer thinking, ‘Well, maybe they’ll melt. Nah!’ Even after many days, and seeing the reaction of the Skittles I still didn’t believe that they would get my clothes into the mess they did. I put my trust in the Skittles, just as some of us put our trust in our own resources. We too often think that we can handle everything, that we are capable of working anything out. And we wait, and wait, and wait, until we know it’s impossible to deal with, and it becomes time to sort out the clothes, and pray that it come out. I guess you’d call that pray and wash!

Instead of taking the Skittles out the first time I saw them melting, I waited. Instead of praying first, we sometimes wait until the last possible minute, then ask God to solve the mess. ‘It’s too tough for me now, God. I’ll let you try now.’ We all, and myself alike, trust in ourselves to get through anything life brings us.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto thy own understandings, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths

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