Monday, May 23, 2011

The Parable of the Chocolate Donut and the Dr. Pepper

There just wasn’t anything on TV, and it was raining outside.  Lots of stuff needed doing on this, my day off, but wet grass and a muddy garden strengthened my natural desire to avoid chores and vegetate.  The room had a gloomy darkness to it, no matter what lights I turned on. 

Lots of rain
It would be 2 hours before Em came home from work.  She knows how to motivate me to return to earth and be productive, but until then, and with the lack of anything interesting on TV, I thought I’d peruse the computer.  I caught up on my facebook.  I looked at emails, most of which were facebook notifications.  I saved the worst for last: a look at my bank account.  That didn’t help the depressing mood at all.  Mortgage this and utilities that and car payment those and lines of credit these; overdraft, overdraft, overdraft…

Nothing on TV
As boredom and/or depression often do to me, I started craving comfort foods.  There’s a gas station right up the road from my house.  We call it SAG’s, although the name was changed years and years ago.  This gas station sells those yummy chocolate cake donuts with the chocolate frosting.  If you’re lucky you can sometimes catch one in their day old rack, but usually not; they’re too popular.  Of course, you gotta get a soda with your donut.  A sip of a good soda (I like Dr. Pepper) mixed with a bite of a good, chocolate donut reveals a new sensation of deliciousness.  The effect is synergetic.  In other words, the donut is yummy, the soda is yummy, and the soda plus the donut is yummy, yielding a three-level wonderland of delight.  Despite having no money in my pockets and a fearfully low amount in my account, I left the house in a drizzly rain for the three-block round trip walk to SAG’s.  It’s funny how the lack of money makes you want to spend money. 

This is me getting a Dr. Pepper refill at the real SAG's in 1989.  Like the shorts?  174 pounds and all my hair, thank you.
About half way to SAG’s my journey was interrupted by the appearance of a giant, purple, magic bunny rabbit.  It was about 8-feet tall, and looked like it would feel like a stuffed animal from Walmart if I’d dared touch it.  He had friendly eyes, and spoke as if he knew me, even called me by name.  He said that he is aware of the difficulties of my life, and that he had some information for me, which would bring happiness to me and my family.  I strained to make my ears grow as big as his as I listened to his message.  The giant, purple, magic bunny rabbit said that there was a treasure worth approximately $67,000,000,000,000 (that’s 67 trillion dollars, folks) buried a short distance from here, and that he was going to give me directions so that I could find it with no trouble, and that it would be mine to use as I will.  At that point, I think my ears were bigger than the bunny’s were. 

Sample bunny off the internet.  Mine was more purple, and lots nicer looking.

His directions were fairly easy to follow, but he talked for a long time.  As the minutes rolled by, and the giant, purple, magic bunny rabbit kept talking and talking, my mind began to wander.  I could feel my tummy rumbling, and my taste buds crying out for a chocolate donut and a Dr. Pepper.  I forced my mind back to the bunny’s words, trying to picture what I had to do to go to where this humungous fortune was hidden and claim it.  Soon, though, my thoughts wandered again, back to the anticipation of how yummy it would be when the donut mixed with the soda in my mouth.  At that moment my mind’s focus jumped back to the words of the giant bunny as he wished me the very best of luck with my new fortune.  In a flash of purple haze, he was gone.  For the life of me, I couldn’t recall most of the directions he gave me.  I’m sure he mentioned some kind of tree, and a particularly shaped rock, and something about a road, but I just couldn’t remember any helpful details.  I stood there in shock at the opportunity that I had let slip through my fingers because I allowed myself to be distracted by a stupid Dr. Pepper & chocolate donut craving.  My heart sank lower than ever.  I thought, "At least I am going to finish my walk to SAG’s and get my yummy treats."  Lucky for me, there were two chocolate donuts in the day old rack.  I grabbed them both, filled up my refill mug with Dr. Pepper and ice, paid for them with my debit card and left the store.  With still nothing on TV, I ate my treats in silence.  They tasted like I remembered, but weren’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped.  Half way through the second donut, my tummy started to ache.  I set the rest of the uneaten donut down with disgust, and said out loud to myself, “I can’t believe I could have had enough money to provide me, my family and my posterity with such joy a thousand times over, and all I ended up with is a dang stomachache.”

Me reading the scriptures.  Get it?
 If you haven't figured out the real meaning in my parable, I'm speaking of those things that distract us and keep us from claiming the ultimate treasure.  A donut is a pretty silly thing to keep us from such a prize, but, then again, so is anything.  A temptation that diverts our attention from what we know is right by promising us a delight to our senses will always leave us feeling empty, and often causes real pain.  Don't let silly things that hurt your tummy distract you from the treasure of Eternal Life. 

Thanks for listening...jb


  1. Thanks for sharing John -- Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice, it was also my "BYU rebellion," I used to take it on campus and drink it right in the middle of the Cougareat. It certainly is easy to get distracted by our corporeal selves, and drawn away from the things our spirits need.