A few months back I was re-reading a talk that was given back in Oct 2011 at one of our Church’s semi annual conferences, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It was called “Forget Me Not” — and is an amazing read, especially for mothers as they struggle with finding balance in their lives.
In it, he tells this story:
In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”3
In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket.
So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry.
There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.”4 The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear.
I have been able to identify many golden tickets in my life: When I graduate from graduate school, when I get that job that I want, when I have a baby, when I get remarried, when we have a baby together to solidify our family, when the ex gets nicer, when the kids get older and more self sufficient….
Different golden tickets that come in different shapes and sizes.
Sometimes I got the golden ticket! And, I admit, that it was “mystical and marvellous” and brought me great joy and happiness.
Sometimes, I didn’t get the golden ticket, and that brought such sadness, heartbreak and pain.
But, either way, the golden ticket – is fleeting. It can bring happiness, or sadness, but it can not bring permanence. There is no way that the golden ticket is all we ever need. We always will be looking for the next golden ticket.
And isn’t it funny how, in search of the golden ticket, we overlook what the golden ticket is actually supposed to bring us. “Lifetime supply of chocolate” was promised – but the people carelessly tossed aside the chocolate bars that they had, trying to find the golden ticket.
Do we do that sometimes? While “waiting” for a bigger, or better blessing, not appreciate the sweet blessings that are right in front of us?
Perhaps we need to spend a little bit more time focusing on what we have, rather than what we want.
I know this is something that I need to work on, given the “planner” nature I have. I can plan great things for the future. But, you know what? I am living great things now.
I am going to make sure I am tasting all the chocolate that I already have and relish every bite.