Sweeter than Chocolate?

chocolate heart love

It’s Easter and for many it means a love of eating a ton of Chocolate! It’s also got me thinking: why do we give/eat Chocolate at Easter? I think for many people, chocolate brings them back mentally and emotionally to their childhood. It brings them to a calmer time when they weren’t stressed out, they had no responsibilities and they were just plain happy. Personally, I find ice cream (specifically an ice cream cone) can bring me back to that “happy place”.

Those summers…

On some Sundays in the summer when I was a kid, my family of 8 would hop in the green station wagon and head over to the Stoney Creek Dairy for ice cream cones after church. This was such a treat! We could look at all the flavours and choose the one we wanted – any kind we wanted!! I have no idea how often we would go (I’m guessing not too often due to the cost for all of us!) but it has stuck in my memory as absolutely heavenly! Whenever I have thought about this or when I talk to my siblings about it, we always smile and remember how awesome the ice cream was! When I look back at it more deeply today, I see things a little differently…

What I’ve learned…

I realize now that our joy didn’t have that much to do with the ice cream- it was about so much more! That sweetness that I experienced at that Stoney Creek Dairy was actually a sweet overflow from being in church and being surrounded by the love of God. I experienced calm, peacefulness, joy, happiness and most importantly unconditional love. Subconsciously and deeply I knew that I was loved no matter what and it felt great! When I was feeling that way, obviously everything I experienced after that was going to be awesome too! Now pile on top of that sweet love the fact that I was travelling with the people that I loved the most in the entire world and that I knew they loved me! Continue to pile on top of that the freedom I experienced when I could make a choice for myself of what flavour to have. All this together made this an amazing experience filled with wonderful emotions and memories- and oh ya – the ice cream tasted good … I think.

Still deeper…

Still deeper…See when I really try to go into detail to remember the ice cream, I don’t even know what kind I would choose and I can’t remember the taste. That’s crazy because when I have an ice cream cone to this day, I feel joy and freedom! How can it be that I don’t remember the taste when it is the ice cream that I have always associated this great experience with? The reality is, the ice cream wasn’t the point at all, it was the experience of love surrounding me on a deeper level and I just associated it with the physical world! How many other mental and spiritual experiences (positive or negative) have I associated with the physical thing I was doing when I experienced it? How has that formed me into who I believe I am today? Life’s lessons are rarely learned immediately because they need time to mature just as we do. It’s funny because just now as I am writing this, I now also realize why there’s something special about a bacon and eggs breakfast that brings me joy. Guess when I would have bacon and eggs? You guessed it – after church and with my family surrounded by love! Think about your favourite place or a favourite possession and you will quickly find that it is your favourite because it reminds you of some sort of love.

Back to the Chocolate…

Back to the question of why we give chocolate and chocolate eggs at Easter… I have no idea! Maybe it’s to symbolize that inside an egg is new life and new hope. Maybe its because it physically makes us feel good, maybe it’s to remind us of our childhood memories of innocence and happiness, maybe it’s to remind us that pure love is so sweet, maybe its a family tradition, or maybe it’s just because society does it and has marketed it to us. I know it’s not because milk chocolate is good for us! (Yes I know dark chocolate is good for you in many ways!). Regardless of why others do it, if you give gifts or chocolate, why do you do it (or not do it)? It’s important to ask yourself that question because you may be surprised what the answer will reveal! You will hopefully realize that it has nothing to do with the chocolate!

For our family…

This Easter weekend, I hope you have an amazing time no matter how you celebrate it! For our family, it is definitely not about the chocolate. This is a weekend to remember what pure sacrificial love looks like, and how there is always hope and new life thanks to Jesus. Nothing can replace and no chocolate is sweeter than knowing and feeling this type of unconditional love that only He can provide. You don’t have to work for it or earn His love – it is freely given to each of us to experience and we have the amazing choice to choose to accept His gift! Feel it and choose it (just like I did all those years ago when I felt the love and the freedom to choose my ice cream) and you will experience peace, joy and freedom every day!

The sweetest gift…

If you’re thought that the gifts you give are about the physical thing that you give, I hope from this blog you see the folly in that. It’s not about the thing, it’s about what you are giving and representing with the gift! I hope and pray that when you eat your chocolate this Easter, you think about how SWEET pure LOVE is and if you give any gift (including a gift of chocolate), please don’t forget to give the SWEETEST gift of all – LOVE!! Blessings, Dr. Lynne

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