By Judy Brandon, Local Columnist
When I was growing up, my parents had many good friends who were in seminary at the same time they were. I cannot help but remember a trip where our family and one other went to the Missouri State Fair in 1955. Their two children were the same ages as Susie and me.
The Missouri State Fair was quite an attraction with all the farm animals and competitions. Yet, the midway was the primary enticement for us.
Even though the carnival part was exciting, it was not the rides that caught my attention that night at the fair. While walking down the midway, I spotted a girl eating on a hefty pink clump of something attached to a cardboard tube. That immense pink blob looked so tasty. Consequently, in my childlike mind I thought, “I want some of what she has.” I tugged at my mother’s sleeve and asked her what it was that the girl was eating. That’s when I heard the words from Mother, “cotton candy.”
I was intrigued by this fluffy stuff and set my sights on getting some. I insisted on Mother buying me a stick of whatever that treat was, but she tried to convince it was bad for my teeth.
I begged and begged.
Finally mother came half way. She had set a limit of spending for the night, so she said, “Judy, are you sure you want that stuff? It is not worth the money.”
I assured her that I did, so she said, “You have a nickel. If you want cotton candy you must buy it with your own money.” There was no hesitation on my part. I was sure I wouldn’t want anything else all night because I had my mind and eye on cotton candy.
I walked up to the booth with the sign that read “Heavenly Cotton Candy — Five Cents.” I gave the lady my nickel. I stood amazed as she turned the paper tube around the edges of a big tub, picking up the delicate sugar as she worked. She gave me the pink cotton candy on a cardboard tube. I turned around and took a mouthful. In anticipation, I thought, “At last, a bite of this heavenly stuff.”
But it was all a big fiasco. I bit with the intent to chew and there was nothing; it dissolved in my mouth. I took a larger bite, and the same thing happened. After three or four bites, I understood that what I thought was so mouthwatering and attractive was actually nothing when I experienced it.
My experience as a child with cotton candy was an example of a yearning that I thought would bring me satisfaction, and it turned out to be much less. What I thought I had to have did not satisfy.
Solomon in the Bible had went through the desire and satisfaction mindset, even possessing anything he desired. Yet, when he was an old man, he wrote in Ecclesiastes about spending energy for a lifetime of going after nothing but desires. He found out with all his wealth and power that getting material things and even fame only brought temporary satisfaction.
Just like cotton candy. The Bible says that God will grant us the desires of our hearts after we seek him, obey him and serve him. That is lasting satisfaction.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: