It is that time of the year again! That time when sweet little girls in spring colored uniforms launch an assault on the American people. I am not referring to the annual selling of Girl Scout cookies. In fact, I do not think poorly of those various young ladies (and their well intentioned, co-conspiring parents). When they approach me with order forms, I gladly lend my support and dutifully purchase a box or two. No, the “assault” of which I speak is what I like to call The Girl Scout Cookie Gauntlet.
These Girls Scout Cookie Gauntlets usually form toward the end of the general cookie sales drive. No longer seeking orders from the ranks of family, friends, or coworkers, these cookie tauters expand their sales effort to include cash and carry to the public. Tables stacked with numerous cookie boxes and flanked by energetic Girl Scouts, line the entrance and exit of almost every shopping establishment in town. “Would you like to buy a box?” the sweet cherub faced peddlers call out to shoppers. Seeing them as I enter a store fills me with dread. My world becomes a swirl of conflict and guilt.
As I complete my shopping endeavor I know I must pass through this tempting Girl Scout Cookie Gauntlet to get safely to my car. I don’t want to ignore them. I don’t wish to discourage them. I hate to look into their precious pleading eyes. I especially hate to get eye contact with their accompanying parents, as I know they will most likely end up purchasing all unsold boxes. BUT…I also know I don’t need any more cookies. I can’t afford to buy boxes at every Girl Scout Cookie Gauntlet I pass through. My wallet and my waistline will be negatively impacted.
Each year I try to control my Girl Scout Cookie consumption. Since I have an established track record of consuming everything sweet that enters my home, my best defense is to reduce the number I actually take home. My latest efforts lead me to purchase only one box for our home and donate any additional boxes instead. I thought I had this licked….that was before THE GAUNTLETS.
It is not their fault. Those well-intentioned Girl Scouts could not possibly comprehend just how much they are asking of me when they utter those innocent words, “Would you like to buy a box?” They only know they need to reduce the number of boxes currently in their possession. They only know they want to meet a specific goal. They only know they need our support.
They do not know that what they are really asking me to do is to risk my health. They do not understand the emotional conflict I torture myself with trying to decide if I should say “yes” to them and “no” to my diet. They could not know the hardship imposed by having a box of unopened Girl Scout Cookies taunting you from the cupboard.
I realize I am exaggerating a bit of course. However, after successfully passing through three such gauntlets in a single day, I could not help but consider how often I ask for something without comprehending the impact of my request.
In the days prior to His crucifixion, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The multitudes lined his path with coats and branches of palm. They cried out Hosanna, Hosanna! This means save us, or save now. They did not know, they could not have comprehended I imagine, that what they were asking for…being “saved”, would require the death of the one they now hailed as royalty. They did not know what they were asking of Him. They only knew they needed saving.
I too need saving. I have cried out to my God for forgiveness of my sins. I am forgiven ONLY because of God’s grace. I do not get what I deserve, but instead, because of the death and resurrection of Christ, I have forgiveness.
It is too easy to forget the enormity of what I asked for when I asked God to forgive me…it is easy to forget because God gives grace so freely, He only desires us to believe.
“…confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Romans 10:9