Today is Easter Sunday. To all Christians, this is a special day; a time to reflect and be thankful for what Jesus Christ did for mankind.
When I was a youngster, and in my childhood ways, Easter was a time to visit relatives and participate in a family Easter egg hunt to see who could find the most eggs. My fondest childhood memories of Easter, however, are when I attended elementary school about 55 years ago. Easter egg hunts were a major production back then.
Each student was asked to bring his or her own hard-boiled chicken eggs to school. We were given time in the classroom to dye the eggs and then paint them however our imagination inspired.
Then, all the eggs were collected in a large basket for the big hunt. Afterwards, we were allowed to eat the reward of our hard work, which always left me a little suspicious of whose eggs I had found and of their quality.
You see, I am a fairly persnickety eater.
When I was in the fifth grade, I confess to having mixed emotions about the upcoming egg hunt.
The school-sponsored egg hunts had been fun every year to that point, but I was getting frustrated. The golden egg, or the top prize, had always been found by someone other than me.
I would watch each year as the fortunate winner was rewarded with a beautiful Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and candy eggs. The second prize was a smaller basket for the student who found the greatest number of eggs. That also had eluded me because the other boys and girls were faster afoot than me.
I figured that this hunt would be just like the others, but maybe there was still hope for me.
In desperation, I prayed, “Lord, please help me this year. Please let me find the golden egg. To show you that I’m not selfish, just let me find one other egg to go along with the golden egg. Remember, Lord if I find only two eggs, I’ll be happy.”
Whether it was by divine intervention or merely by coincidence, my prayer was answered. That was the happiest Easter egg hunt during all of my elementary school days.
While reminiscing about that Easter egg hunt back many years ago, I wonder how many prayers are directed to God in that manner. I suspect, with myself being included, that many prayers are spoken for selfish reasons rather than considering the greater good.
Sometimes it’s difficult to separate value from vanity.