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The Doughnut Draw to Faith

I grew up in a church-going family, but Sunday meant one thing for me: doughnuts.

Sunday was a big production. My sister and I got dropped off early, about 8:30 a.m., for girls choir practice, then we sang for the 9 a.m. service up front in the choir pews, which faced each other in front of the altar.

The service was a liturgical one, which would have made me nod off except that much of it I spent on my knees on a hard wooden kneeler. I think that was the design of that thing. (BTW, I now find that service quite beautiful.) But the service seemed to take forever, waiting for what would come after.

Then the final prayer, the final hymn, the recessional. And finally . . . doughnuts.

We girls would shed our choir robes in a hurry to head upstairs in the fellowship hall, where we each got that sugary treat. And such a treat it was: I cannot remember my parents ever buying doughnuts. We lived simply–so the having a doughnut was pretty great.

Then we attended Sunday school while our parents sang in the adult choir during the second service.

The rest of the day was lovely too. If the weather was nice, Mom would pack a picnic and we’d have an afternoon at a nearby lake swimming.

Faith was doing back then. You went to church. You sang in the choir. You learned a few things in Sunday school class. And you got a reward for showing up: doughnuts.

It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that I learned I could have a personal relationship with God by asking Christ into my life. That changed everything. The fact that God wanted to have a relationship with me simply blew me away. That was reward enough. I didn’t need doughnuts.

Maybe you’ve been looking at faith as doing. The people of Jesus’s time thought this was so. Listen in . . . “Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.’ And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'” –Mark 10:24-27

You see faith by our own works is impossible. We cannot do enough or be enough to reach heaven on our own. We will always mess up, always fail. But Jesus came to show us that if we believe in him, he then is our advocate with the heavenly Father. Our faith ushers us into God’s family.

Faith is like a church doughnut. It’s a freebie. In fact, friend, it’s all about relationship . . . and it’s simple. Just ask Jesus into your life, and then seek him out daily in relationship.

Better than a doughnut . . . or a whole box.

Janet McHenry is a speaker and author of 24 books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you:

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