My 2.5 year old's favorite cereal is, believe it or not, Special K with strawberries. She loves it. The trouble is, she really just loves the strawberries and not so much the cereal part. She eats all the strawberries and leaves the cereal in the bowl, soggy and forgotten. Then she points to her bowl and says, "I want more stawbewies, mommy."
To which I reply, as always, "You have to eat the cereal too. Not just the strawberries."
And I realized today that this was a great analogy for life. You don't just get the good parts-- your favorite parts. You get the soggy, yucky stuff that lacks flavor. That comes in the box too. It's part of the deal. Because, let's face it, without the cereal, the strawberries would lose their uniqueness, their impact, their reward. It's getting to the strawberries that makes eating the cereal worthwhile. Some of us, like my little daughter, want to gobble up the strawberries and leave the cereal in the bowl, pointing at it and demanding that God restock our bowl with strawberries. And some of us have learned to take the good with the bad-- the desirable with the not so desirable, the extraordinary with the ordinary. This, we know from experience, is life. We have learned to savor every bite of strawberries, thanking God especially for the hidden ones, the ones we didn't realize were waiting at the bottom of the bowl like little treasures placed there just for us-- the promise of blessings when we least expect it.
Note: Feel free to use this analogy for Lucky Charms or any other cereal that works for you.