Like all greedy youngsters, I couldn’t wait for our school’s Easter egg hunt. When, when, when would the magic hour arrive?
We suffered through everlasting classes of English and arithmetic, drooling at the prize: a chocolate bunny with a yellow bow tie.
As we sallied forth to the playground, I dreamed of delectable treasures I would discover: yummy jelly beans (all but the black licorice kind), chocolate eggs, fat pink marshmallow chicks. Where would I conceal my Easter loot from my siblings?
The kiddie crowd’s roar at the starting point dissolved my blissful sugar fantasies. Only our omnipotent principal kept us from rioting.
He boomed, “Ready. Set. Go!”
A horde of barbarians, we attacked.
I could run fast. However, with zero sense of direction or strategy, I dashed randomly within the hunt’s borders — not unlike the way I now seek parking spaces — arriving just in time to see others grab the goodies.
I complained, loud and clear. Why did the Easter Bunny put us through such agony?
While I stood by the merry-go-round, debating the hunt’s constitutionality, two kids found a nest of pink, blue and yellow eggs under it.
I stomped across the playground — and smashed an egg left in plain sight.
By hunt’s end, I found only jelly beans. Black licorice ones.
Afterward, I stood at the front of the classroom with other empty-basket losers, hoping the victors would, at our teacher’s guilting, share the wealth.
Some did. I received more black jelly beans.
I survived Easter-egg-hunt trauma. You did, too. But as all grown-ups know, adulthood does not immunize us from empty-basket syndrome. After a steady diet of motivational speeches, we may improve our egg-finding techniques and even win a chocolate bunny or two. Often, though, we watch others celebrate success while we count black licorice jelly beans. And we ask God, “Why?”
In the Bible, Jesus often displays the same annoying habit my mother had. Instead of answering the question asked, He addresses the one hunkered behind it: “Jesus, do You care about me, too?”
To us empty-basket wonders, He says, “More than you can imagine. You don’t have to hunt for Me.
“Actually, I hunt for you. You’re the lost coin I treasure, the clueless, obstinate lamb I love — yes, I’ll even leave 99 winners to search for you, no matter where you wander. Stop fighting Me and let me hold you close.”
I still dream of finding the chocolate bunny with a yellow bow tie. But if I don’t, that’s okay.
My basket already runneth over with His love.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you consider yourself an empty-basket wonder?