Home > Devotional, Random Thoughts > Pass the Chocolate

Pass the Chocolate

Earns HersheyI’ve been reading a book entitled The Heart Of A People by Moshe Avraham Kempinski. In it he tells the story of his father, who fought in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Five Arab states had attacked Israel following the United Nations mandate which granted her statehood. This is how the story goes:

“My father’s army unit had been told to hold that hill and try to block the advancing Egyptian army. They were a small group of soldiers who had been fighting for days. At one point, they realized they were running low on ammunition.

“As bullets were whizzing above their trenches, my father pulled out some chocolate and began handing it out to the others in the trench. The others told him that he was going crazy. They told him that now was not the time for chocolate. He supposedly smiled and explained to them that they had done what they could in the battle. Life and death are in the control of the Higher Authority.

“He told them to take a piece of chocolate, say a blessing over it, and enjoy the sweetness of the moment.

“He and the others in the trench were destined to enjoy chocolate and taste its sweetness for many more years.” 1

The author’s point in telling this story was that some people are constantly waiting for some future event, their whole life fixated upon it. Others are stuck in the past, and what might have been or what they have done.

What we should do, Kempinski maintains, is learn to live in the Now, to taste the sweetness of the moment.

This simple anecdote has been a blessing to me this week. I’ve been trying to learn how to live in the sweetness of each moment. I haven’t mastered it, that’s for sure. It’s hard to break the habits of 56 years … of either anticipating some new thing, or looking back at some former experience or stage in life. For crying out loud, (my Dad loved to say that) I still have dreams about high school! But I also have to say that I’ve caught myself on several occasions enjoying the “right now” much more than usual. I like it.

As I’ve thought more on these things, I’ve remembered the fact that the Christian gospel grants us the possibility of living this way … to the max (should we choose to do so). Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and promise to return for us enables us to live well in the present.

Concerning our past: Jesus died for all of our sins, therefore we are forgiven. For those painful events in our pasts, He provides healing, redemption, and the means to make some of the wrongs into rights. Our past is dealt with by our Savior.

Concerning our future: We are promised eternal life. Jesus assures us that He will come again and set up His kingdom, and that we (true believers) will live and reign with Him forever. Our futures are guaranteed by our Savior.

That leaves us with the present. Since our pasts our dealt with, we don’t have to live there. Since our futures are assured, we don’t have to panic, freak out, or be anxious. We confidently expect Jesus to do what He’s promised. We’re good to go in the area of our future. So now we’re free to just abide, to love and be loved right now!

I love this idea, which I know is also an ideal. But it’s profound, and I need to learn it.

I remember being impacted years ago by a bumper sticker on the back of an old beat-up hippie VW bus. The message read: “Wherever you go, there you are.”

It hit me hard. Wherever I went, I was usually in five other places. I had a hard time just being. Like a great friend of mine likes to say, “God didn’t make us human do-ings, He made us human be-ings.”

That’s what I want to be more of … a human be-ing. One that can take in the goodness of God and then give it away to those around me.

Thanks for reading … and pass the chocolate!

In Christ,
Bill Holdridge

1 The Heart Of A People, pp. 23-24 (Moshe Avraham Kempinksi, 2006 Shorashim of the Old City Publications)

  1. Valerie
    July 17, 2009 at 6:25 am

    So well said Bill, plus you have great material to work with there. 🙂

    These days seem to be roiling us up, the waves are higher and trenches between the waves are deeper. I know that all of that is driving me to the eternal God and His truths. Our God is Mighty and Loves us, so we can trust Him with the past and future and remember to be His people in the right now. Thanks for the encouraging words.


  2. Peggy
    July 17, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Ah, what a wondrous and edifying message for my spirit within what you’ve sent out this day, Bill. Thank you for sharing and I thank God for the great wisdom contained therein … the Holy Spirit is revealing so much.

    As a friend and sister in Christ and I like to exhort one another, “Stay in the day!” I find your message confirming this and the Scripture passages coming to my mind as I read your blog also affirm.

    Jesus said His mercies are “new each day” … that “each day has enough trouble of its own without our having to take thought/worry about tomorrow,” and that “today is the day of salvation” and so much more is contained in this wondrous Book of Life we call the Bible, God’s Word, indeed, everything this pilgrim needs for life and godliness. But the Spirit’s focus has been, for me, for some time now, to live within the confines of the moment, without taking thought for the morrow. HOW CHALLENGING this has been for me! Yet through prayer and Bible study and the exhortations of God’s people, I sometimes think, “I’m getting it” … praise God. How much energy I can waste thinking about what’s possibly ahead! Only God knows and all I have to do is wake up and submit my thoughts, and my day, to Him. Sounds so simple! So I very much appreciate this terrific exhortation to “pass the chocolate,” yes, indeed.

    By the way, Bill, my Dad, his entire life on this earth, also said, “For crying out loud!” and after reading your missive today and learning that your Dad, too, said these words, I decided to investigate their origin. According to The Phrase Finder, it means, “For Christ’s sake.” Ponder that …

    Blessings, thanksgiving, prayers.


  3. Joclyne
    July 17, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Ok. That’s it. I’m going to get a good supply of chocolate to have and to share. I’ll tell everyone my pastor made me do it…

    Truly, what wisdom there is in savoring the moment WITH God. (I will never leave thee nor forsake thee…) Especially when in the trenches. I’m about to attend a meeting that I’m kind of dreading… I’ll get that chocolate on the way… mmmmmm

  4. July 19, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Hi Bill!

    Saw you on Facebook and found your blog here. Very cool to see that you have kept up with the times and have a blog up and going. Yay!

    Jerry and I and our two kids are firmly rooted here in Portland, Oregon. Have been since 1995. Dave and Trish Taylor moved here a few years ago. Isn’t that wild! We went to their oldest daughter’s wedding two years ago. It is wonderful to have them living here where we can continue to share life together.

    We have great memories of our Monterey years. And you are a big reason for that.

    Blessings on you Bill. Have a great summer, and I’ll see ya around Facebook and the blogosphere!

  5. July 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Pam…. thanks so much for your gracious words. I knew you guys were up in Portland, as I’d seen you on Facebook as well. You sound good, and it sounds like you’re doing well. Praise the Lord!

    And on top of that, Dave and Trish are in Portland. Amazing. I’d love to get up there sometime. Haven’t really checked out Portland yet.

    God bless you, Pam. BTW, I’ve also got a website … http://www.billholdridge.com. I put my Bible studies there, as well as other stuff.

  6. Coach Vince
    July 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I’ll pass on the chocolate but oatmeal raisin cookies … now that is something to savor. (-;}

    Glad to see you are still putting out godly musings, we miss having you close around. VA

  7. July 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I love them oatmeal raisin cookies, too. Especially when they’ve got chocolate chips in them!

    I miss you guys, too. It was a great season for us, to be near you Napa-onians. We think of you often.

    Blessings to you!

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