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SHE finally gets to the center


How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? I don’t know why this was a burning question in the 70s, but it was. The commercial showed a boy curiously asking a series of different animals the very important question...how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? They all shrugged off the question and referred him to some other “wiser” animal, because they were all guilty of biting right through the thick sugary layer of candy to get to the tootsie roll. Even the wise owl who was supposed to hold all the answers chomped right through by the third lick.

I don’t think that the writers of this commercial were attempting to teach kids and adults alike the benefits of patience, because if they were, no one animal represented very well.

I was convicted as I rewatched this classic childhood commercial because I was no different from those woodland creatures. You’d have to pay me to sit there endlessly licking the same spot on a piece of candy just to answer a question that quite frankly has no meaningful contribution to the world. But it did trail my thoughts to the reality that I approach problems and conflicts in a similar fashion.

My close friends and family would probably tell you that I’m not particularly hasty to rush into conflict, but I’m also not too shy to avoid it either. I’m a healthy baby bear porridge tempered individual, does get to hot or too cold. However, when it comes to some issues that I’d rather not deal with, I’m a professional at shutting the door and closing the blinds on the issue so I can act like I don’t see it making camp right outside the entry point of my thoughts.

The reality is that some issues don’t disappear until you deal with it head on. But when we do, there’s not always a cut off date that at least tells us that if this doesn’t get better within a year, then it’ll just go away. Like a tootsie roll pop, we’re often left with the question:

“How many times do I have to deal with this until I achieve what I’m working towards?”

Maybe you’re dealing with a chronic illness.

Maybe you’re trying to resolve or find reconciliation in a broken relationship.

Maybe you’re just trying to overcome an inner insecurity that seems to always show up at the worst times.

Whatever it is, cracking right through all the tedious work and acts of perseverance may not be an option to reach your end goal. The answer may actually require you to sit and endlessly toil away at what seems to be the same questions, same situations, same choices, until one day you realize that you reached to the center, the core, of whatever you’re battling against. It’s there that the real joy can be found in all that perseverance.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

-Galatians 6:9


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