Broccoli and Ice Cream

Tonight we made a delicious dinner.
Chipotle breaded salmon, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. I have to brag on my husband for a small second because he makes fantastic mashed potatoes. The entire meal was wonderful. However, while we all chowed down happily, Simon sat quietly. He barely picked at his broccoli.
Normally Simon loves broccoli. Vegetables are a major source of his diet (thank goodness!)

But not tonight.

No matter of pleading or bribery could entice him to eat more of his food.
And then Johnny offered the ultimate prize - ice cream.
Johnny announced, "If you eat all your broccoli, you can have ice cream!" Grace happily announced she could eat ice cream because she had eaten all her vegetables. But Simon still sat in unwavering non-compliance. He wasn't going to eat any more broccoli.

After a short Family Home Evening lesson and singing time, we came back to the kitchen for our ice cream treat. Three of us happily sat down with ice cream, but Simon did not. His plate of broccoli was still at the table, and we reminded him that as soon as he ate the broccoli, the ice cream was his! He fell on to the floor in frustration, asking for ice cream. We aren't the type of parents to give in to a tantrum, so we continued to encourage him, "Just eat your broccoli. As soon as you finish you can have ice cream. We want to you to have ice cream, so hurry and eat your broccoli, and it's yours!"

Simon decided to go and play instead. He chose to forgo the sweet treat of ice cream because he was not willing to finish his broccoli. As a mother, I was sad. I know how happy he would have been, and I know that our request was simple and easy. He likes broccoli, and we wanted to reward him, but we couldn't break our word and reward his poor choice.

Afterwards I wondered if this is how God feels when we choose to ignore His commandments. I believe in God, and I believe He is our Heavenly Father and that He loves us as His children. How His heart must ache when He sees us make choices that have negative consequences on our spirits. The scriptures are full of examples where our loving Father encourages and pleads with us to follow His commandments. His commandments, much like our request for Simon to eat his broccoli, are given for our benefit. Broccoli will help Simon grow healthy and strong, just like God's commandments help our spirits grow faithful and strong. But our beautiful reward for following God's commandments is eternal glory and eternal joy - way cooler than ice cream! (he he, like my pun? Ice cream and cool?)

There will be many distractions in life that could be more tempting than following the commandments. Much like Simon's toys, other things, people, or ideas will entice us to stray from the path of safety that God has outlined. However, in order to nourish our spirits, we must choose the broccoli. We must choose to follow the commandments. Our Heavenly Father is rooting for us, hoping that we listen to His words, and qualify for our eternal rewards.

So there's my spiritual thought for the day. Enjoy!


He normally loves broccoli!

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