The Parable of the Skittles

A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon podcast of a preacher in Oklahoma and he told “The Parable of the Skittles.”  I thought is was a great illustration about how we view God and what he has given us…plus it was a good excuse to give my students skittles, play games involving skittles and just have a good time using this story.  This is roughly what he shared in his message.

The Parable of the Skittles

There once was a man who had three sons and he wanted his sons to know how much he loved them.  So he took them to their favorite sporting event – a baseball game.

Early in the game he took them to the concession stand.  To further express his love for them, he bought them each a bag of skittles.  The kids said “thank you” because that is what they were supposed to do and they returned to their seats for the game.

As the game continued, the father turned to one of his sons and asked, “Would you mind sharing your skittles with me?”  The son said, “Don’t get me wrong, Dad.  I would love to share my skittles with you, but the problem is that the bag is not very big and the game is probably going to go long and, you know me, I’m not very good at pacing myself.  So, if I have any leftover at the end, I will gladly give you some, but I need to make sure there is enough for me.  Please don’t think I do not appreciate them, but I think I will hold onto them.”  So, the son didn’t share his skittles.

The father was a little hurt.  He then turned to his second son and asked, “Son, will you please share some of your skittles with me?”  The son said, “Dad, don’t get me wrong, I would love to share these skittles with you.  But the thing is that I really like skittles a lot and you are a grown up and don’t really see skittles as a big deal.  But I really, really like skittles and they are pretty important to me so I’m not going to share my skittles with you.”

Obviously the dad is disappointed that two of his sons will not share their skittles with him.  He turned to his third son and said, “Son, would you mind sharing your skittles with me?”  The third son said, “Dad, don’t get me wrong, I would really love to share my skittles with you. The truth is that I love these skittles so much and I love you so much, I am just going to hold on to these skittles.  I’m not even sure if I am going to open them.  I’m just going to hold them in my hands and keep them as a reminder of how much you love me.  I can’t share them with you because I think am just going to keep them.”

The father was pretty disappointed, hurt and upset with his three sons.  When the game was over, he pulled his three sons aside to talk to them.  He said to them, “Here is the problem.  You don’t understand.  What you don’t understand is me.”

“The first thing that you don’t understand is the skittles are mine.  I bought the skittles and you are acting like they are yours!  How dare you, after I worked and made the money and paid for the skittles, you act like you deserve them.

Here is another thing you don’t understand about me:  I am bigger than you and if I wanted to, I could take those from your hand….and don’t think I won’t.

You don’t understand me.  You don’t understand that I could rain skittles down on you.  I could drown you in skittles.  I could buy you more than just one meager bag of skittles.  I could just pour them out and pour them out and pour them out.  Yet you are hoarding them, you are holding on to them, you are trying to stretch them out and make them last.  You don’t understand me.

And these three boys didn’t understand their father.  Because of how they looked at their skittles, all three of them missed an opportunity to understand the goodness of their father.

So, what are your skittles? What is it that God has given to us that we won’t share with Him?

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