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A Gumball God


Dwyer Leahy Vessey

It came to me in a moment of spiritual clarity that I have a gumball God. My ego would prefer that these moments of great connection with God lead me to a higher plane, in particular a mountain top of some sort that I could offer profound bits of wisdom to the masses.

Instead, I get a gumball God. I realized that I go to God with a purpose. I want a gumball. Sometimes I want a particular color, and wait impatiently for the moment when I find out what color is just inside the little silver door that holds the gumball in. Other times itís not what color I want thatís important, itís the color that I donít want above all else that keeps me anxiously awaiting the click of the gears and the ďdrop-rattle-dropĒ that accompanies the arrival of the color.

In those moments, I will do anything; give anything to make sure that the dreaded color isnít behind the door. Sometimes all my internal begging and pleading work and I escape the feared color. Then there are times when I steel myself, lift up the little silver door and out drops the one color, the one flavor I cannot possibly swallow. Just taking it out of the machine fills me with loss and despairÖwill I ever get the flavor I want from God?

God and I have had this give and take gumball relationship for a long time. I arrive, penny in hand, offer it up, and get something back. I may not like what I get, but usually itís at least palatable. Sometimes the machine jams, and I donít get anything back. I put in another penny, and then another, each with a little more force and frustrationÖhey, give it up God! Still, I get nothing back.

In disgust Iíve turned my back on the gumball machine, and sworn off gumballs all together. Let me tell you, a life without gumballs is bleak indeed. The last time Iíd turned away I was gone for a long time. I was practicing a gumball-free diet, convinced that I had much more control over my choices if they werenít tied to the randomness of the gumball machine.

When I returned to Godís gumball machine, it was with one last penny gripped so tightly in my palm that I could taste the metal through my skin. I was ready to once again do business with God. As I stood there looking at all the colors and flavors that were in Godís gumball machine, I realized that I wanted more from God than a gumball.

What I really wanted was to give God my penny. To let God know that ďhere God, this is for you - Iím here God Ė you can count on me. I may only have a penny, but Iím here today for you.. Rest easy God, Iím showing up.Ē

So my new found spiritual realization is that if I go to God with the intent of barter or business, then it becomes about something as mundane as a gumball. And if I go to God with the gift of my penny, with no expectations or assumptions of what Iíll get in return, then I am gifting God.

When I see a penny on the street now, I see God. I donít always pick the penny up. There are times when I leave it for anotherís soul connection. But in the morning when I make time to meet with God, I bring a penny to the writing table Ė and I offer it to God. A small scrap of amalgamated metal, offered freely, without reservation or expectation. And I please God.

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