top of page

The Stink in Chocolate

Are we getting the message?


A man approached an ice cream van and said, "I'd like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please."


The girl behind the counter replied, "I'm very sorry, sir, but our delivery didn't come this morning. We're out of chocolate."


"In that case," the man continued, "I'll have two scoops of chocolate ice cream."


"You don't understand, sir," the girl said. "We have no chocolate."


"Then just give me some chocolate," he insisted.


Getting angrier by the second, the girl asked, "Sir, will you spell 'van,' as in 'vanilla'?"


The man spelled, "V-A-N."


"Now spell 'straw,' as in 'strawberry.'"


"OK. 'S-T-R-A-W.'"


"Now," the girl asked, "spell 'stink,' as in 'chocolate.'"


The man hesitated and then looked confused as he replied, "There is no stink in chocolate."


"That's what I've been trying to tell you!" she screamed.


Sometimes we just don’t get the message. For two weeks in 2011, nobody read my weekly article. Nobody!


I know that nobody read it because I discovered that my email service blocked my message as spam. So, people literally didn’t get it. I was sending, but nobody was receiving.


I wonder sometimes if that’s how God feels. Every day, “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalms 19:1) but we are often too distracted to notice. In Proverbs 8, Wisdom is depicted as a lady standing on the corner calling out to those who pass by:

Does not wisdom call out?

    Does not understanding raise her voice?

At the highest point along the way,

    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

 beside the gate leading into the city,

    at the entrance, she cries aloud:

And yet people “fail to find me,” she says.


Every day, God offers us “words of eternal life” (John 6:68), but we are often too busy to pay attention. And Jesus came preaching the best news ever broadcast, only to find that many just couldn’t hear him when he talked:

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them. (Matthew 13:15)


Following those words, Jesus told a parable comparing some hearts to hard-packed ground. Seed – the message – just could not penetrate. Oh, they heard the words – just as we do. But they did not take the message to heart, and it was lost to them.


The good news is that we can hear if we want to. The key, it seems is that we must want it. We must be convinced there is something worth hearing. “Seek and you will find,” Jesus promised. God is trying to tell us something. We can hear him if we try.


There is no stink in chocolate, but there is life in listening.


bottom of page