I remember when I was in second grade, an incident I was involved with including a red M&M. It’s funny how most of life is a blur but certain memories will still stick with you and for no apparent reason, will pop back into your mind here and there. Who knows what triggers it. Well, let me tell you the story. I was probably about 7 years old and was sitting at lunch on those long picnic style tables, you probably know the ones I’m talking about. The boy to my right had some M&M’s for lunch that day! Oh my gosh! Do I need to say more? Now, to those who haven’t caught on, let me tell you I am a genuine chocoholic. These days I have graduated to the finer chocolates, and I won’t waste my calories on the cheap stuff. The ultimate chocolate is Godiva’s truffles, preferably the dark chocolate. Recently a new friend of mine took note of my rantings about chocolate and sent me a large box of Godiva’s finest chocolate truffles – it was the best gift I’ve received all year! But back then, all I had to crave was M&M’s – that or my grandfather’s home made fudge which he made quite often for me and is probably culpable for my chocolate addiction today. But that particular day back in grade school has resurfaced and has given me new inspiration on the subject of chocolate.
So here I am, a seven year old, sitting next to the M&M boy. He doesn’t offer me any – doesn’t he know how much I love chocolate? Apparently not. But he offers the girl to my left an M&M! I couldn’t believe it. Totally ignored me! Then he slides the red M&M over to her and it stops right in front of me. I sat there ogling it for what seemed an eternity. The girl next to me didn’t reach for it right away…what was wrong with her? Didn’t she appreciate chocolate as much as I did? So here I am having a stare-down with this red M&M that was not offered to me but was sitting right in front of me for a moment longer than it should. I wanted it so badly. I could already taste it in my mouth. She wasn’t going for it, so….you know what I had to do. I couldn’t resist it any longer. It was calling me…”Sonia, eat me!” So I picked it up, even looked at it and thought for a second “This is not mine, this is for her.” But she was just not in a hurry to get it. So I put that luscious, shiny, red, chocolate feast in my mouth….and it was GOOD! What happened next was the part I wasn’t expecting. Crying. What a big baby. It was just one little M&M. But back then, you know how kids are. They scolded me, “Why did you do that? That wasn’t nice.” And then I sat there….alone….with the aftertaste of the red M&M…..feeling not so happy anymore. I thought “M&M’s make friends?” I felt the guilt kick in. I took something that wasn’t mine. It wasn’t meant for me. It was meant to give to someone else. I was just the go-between. All I had to do was to help push it along a little farther, but I didn’t. I sat there and expected the girl next to me to reach over and take it. But it was right in front of me and I wanted it for myself. How dare that boy do that to me! Well, that’s probably what I was thinking back then. But now I’m older, and somewhat wiser….well, at least with some things. Don’t try passing any Godiva’s chocolates in front of me for someone else because they aren’t gonna make it!
For whatever reason, I woke up this morning thinking about that red M &M. I thought about how God puts things in front of us sometimes that are meant for others, but we are so enticed by those “red M&M’s” and want them for ourselves. But they were meant to bless someone else. We stole their blessing to keep for ourselves. The worst of it is, we didn’t receive the original blessing God meant for us – to give, to be a part of raising someone else up, of passing the blessing along…not taking it for ourselves. I think childhood is a great example of how our human nature can kick in when we get to be adults. We aren’t dealing with M&M’s anymore, but much bigger things. Sometimes it’s ministry related, business related, or just friendship related. We withhold blessings from others because we don’t want to see them blessed beyond us – we want it to be our blessing. We don’t allow someone to advance because we are afraid we’ll lose our own spotlight and they will get the recognition or credit that we desire. We take the best from people we are working with in some capacity and claim their input or hard work as our own, or keep quiet about someone’s accomplishments so no further attention will be drawn to them. We fail to offer assistance to someone that could cost us very little or nothing but would make a huge difference to their progress. Sometimes, God wants us to just “pass the red M&M along” to someone else. I know that if we would only do that, He will probably bless us with a much bigger bag of our own, but we often miss the bigger picture. We don’t see that there are a whole lot more M&M’s out there God has for us and even better stuff like Godiva’s truffles. We just see the one right in front of us that He wants us to be involved in blessing someone else with. What is the red M&M staring at you right now? Are you going to pass it along? Or be the scorn of the lunchroom?