My son’s eyes nearly exploded out of his young face as he saw his grandfather pouring a blanket of sugar over his bowl of Cheerios.
Whenever our children came home from having stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for a weekend, a day or even an hour, Sarah and I had to help them relearn our own house rules. Such as, cookies are not allowed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Caffeinated coffee is not intended for children under 8 years old. Donuts are not considered to be a “whole grain” food. There is no need to blanket Cocoa Puffs with sugar, and despite Grandma’s favorite rally cry, “Grandma’s my name and spoiling is my game.” Dad’s slogan remained, “Dad’s my name and no…you can’t have that…or that…or that.”
I remember when my son first came home and asked to put sugar over his cereal. Though Sarah and I had both grown up pouring sugar over our cereal, we wanted to limit the amount of sugar our children took in and with it, lower their energy level, naturally. Thus, we chose not to introduce our children to this treasured secret. I have memories of pouring sugar over every spoonful of Wheaties while simultaneously digging in the box for the next cool cereal box toy.
Like my son, I was always the first one up in the mornings, so I was nearly always the first to get at the cereal and have the first crack at the cereal box toy. I remember some my favorite rewards included a $1 bill from Cheerios (I was one of one million people who shared a one million dollar jackpot), a Wacky Wall Walker (what is more fun than throwing a sticky plastic octopus to the wall and watching it crawl down the wall…until it gets dirty…then it just falls to the floor and gets dirtier) and a color changing spoon from a box of Trix.
I recall on one such occasion, where I had to dig inside of a box of cereal to find a prized piece of red cellophane, that was needed to be able to read the secret message on the back of the cereal box (this was at a time where germs had not yet been invented in my pre-adolescent mind, so I was certain no one would mind my sticky little fingers handling every sugary, frosted flake inside the box). Without that simple red filter…there was no hope of reading the important secret message…which probably said something like, “Trix are for kids.” or “They’re Grrreat!” or some other super important message.
Our lives are filled with revelations. Our parents reveal to us our misbehaviors and their expectations of us. They, perhaps, reveal that wooden spoon hidden in the drawer when those expectations are not met. Our parents can also reveal many life skills to us…like, how to live…how to manage money, how to treat others, how to speak to others, how to love our own children and how to reveal these things to our children as well…and perhaps, how not to blanket our cereal with an acre of sugar.
As great as our parents are as “revealers,” there is another who reveals an even greater message. In John 16:5-16, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will come and “reveal” to the world its guilt in sin, righteousness and judgment. Though that may sound negative, there is a beauty in recognizing our own guilt. When we recognize our own guilt, our own lack of righteousness and the judgment that follows, we find ourselves primed for the message of hope that is also revealed. The message is the promise that Jesus has conquered our sin, given us His righteousness and taken our deserved judgment upon Himself.
That is a message that is worth having revealed.