Sunday, November 15, 2009

Almond-less Joy

I went to Hy-Vee for groceries the other day and picked up a couple bags of post-Halloween candy that were on sale. I took out an Almond Joy to eat it  and looked at the wrapper. It says "milk chocolate, coconut, and almonds". Almonds - plural. And it pictures two almonds. Yet when I open my candy bars, there is only one almond per bar. I grumbled to Joel that I thought it was false advertising to claim that the candy bar contains almonds when, in fact, it only contains one.

So I proceeded to open my "almond joy", and what do I discover? NO almond! The almond was left off of my almond joy. I didn't even get one almond on mine! I exclaimed, "You have got to be kidding me!" I wonder if a Mound (the almond-less version of almond joy) somehow snuck into the wrong wrapper? I wonder if the machine somehow missed placing the almond on mine and somewhere someone else is enjoying two almonds on their candy?

I felt like something had been taken from me that I was owed. I felt injustice. I bought an Almond Joy and fully expected to receive at least ONE almond on my candy bar. I must be vindicated!

Then I paused. How many times in life are we "owed" something that we don't get? Life isn't fair, God even tells us that we will face hardships this side of heaven. I thought it was ironic that right as I was telling Joel how the candy bars only have one almond, even though the wrapper indicates otherwise, I opened the almond-less joy from my package. I think it was God's way of reminding me not to complain about the little things in life (the arguably false advertising of Almond Joy) because it could always be worse (no almond at all). And while I did miss the nutty crunch of the almond on my candy bar, this incident now makes me appreciate each and every time I do get one little nut on my candy bar. In fact, I experience a little bout of happiness and excitement when I see that almond now.

What do you think you are owed in life that you really don't need? A new car, a raise or promotion, a 'thank you' from a friend or family member? How do you react when you don't get those things that you deserve? And what would it take to be happy with the basics, to be happy with one almond instead of complaining about not having two? Would it take you losing your job, not having a car at all, or having no one in your life to do nice things for? It's so easy to forget how blessed we all are. And the truth is, without the proper perspective, an abundance of almonds wouldn't make us happy; we could have all the almonds we please, and then we'd probably start complaining that there are too many. We have to take a step back and remember God will give us exactly what we need and deserve. And with that perspective, you will suddenly find contentment, happiness, and even excitement in what the world tells us are the things we are owed: the ability to purchase and drive a car, having a job at all, and being close enough in proximity and relationally to do nice things for a friend or family, even if they go un-thanked.

But I have to say, I sure hope the rest of my package has all its almonds!

FOLLOWUP: So I found this online and thought it was too great to share. I am not alone in my feelings about the marketing of Almond Joy!


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