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Thanks for the Gumball!

My job was absolutely awesome. Here at church, I was being challenged and equipped to be an effective disciple for the Kingdom. My artwork was being hung in art galleries. I had great friends, great favor in my community… my life was fantastic, but I was… well…frustrated.

I couldn’t put my finger on why I was feeling this way, but a dream I had started to help me be able to articulate what was going on. In the dream, I was standing at a gigantic gumball machine with a burlap sack full of quarters in my hands. I looked in the glass to see which color I wanted and decided that I HAD TO HAVE a blue gumball. I put my first quarter into the machine and turned the knob. I got a red one. I put it in my pocket and put another quarter in the machine. Purple. The next two quarters got me a yellow and green one. Since they were not the blue gumballs I wanted, I just put them in my pocket and kept putting quarters into the machine.

One right after another, I got pinks, reds, greens, purples, yellows, oranges…every color in the gumball machine EXCEPT the blue gumball. WHAT?! There were blue gumballs in there! I could see them with my own two eyes, but I didn’t have one! Was this machine rigged? At that point, I was extremely disappointed and FRUSTRATED. Being the very tenacious (or hard-headed) woman that I am, I decided that I was going to stay at the machine until I got a BLUE gumball, and that was final! After countless quarters, I stood there sobbing, absolutely livid, with my pockets heavily weighted down with “unwanted” gumballs, the blue gumballs still in the machine and the burlap sack almost empty.

I shared my dream with a friend who asked me, “What are all of those ‘unwanted’ gumballs in your life, Ann?”

Angry and frustrated, I replied, “I don’t know! Gifts, talents, jobs, people…I have no idea!”

“Well, what is the basis for your career, for your life, right now?”

I thought for a minute. “Well, my plan is that my Biology degree would be my basis. Then, I could do music and art and wouldn’t have to worry about where my money’s coming from.”

“What if your art is suppose to be your basis for your career?” she asked.

I was dumb-struck. I hadn’t considered that. I had purposefully not majored in Art in college because I was sure that God did not want me to be a “starving-artist”.

“What if your art, your Biology, your music…none of those things are supposed to be your basis? What if God is your basis, Ann? What if HE is the foundation for your life? What if God gave you all those ‘unwanted’ gumballs to show you that He is your basis and not those blue gumballs you want so badly?”


It finally hit me! I’ve must have said, “God is my foundation!” thousands of times in the past years. I’ve said it and said it, but somewhere down the road, God had taken a back seat and other things had taken His place. When did that happen?

Now some of you may be saying, “God IS my foundation, no matter what!” That’s great! But get a good image of the one thing you treasure the most. What if God told you to give that up to pursue something else for His Kingdom? What if that other thing was something that sends dreadful chills up your spine every time you think about it? What if God told you to keep doing that for the next 10 years? Could you do it willingly?

I can honestly say with all assurance that if I never get those “blue” gumballs, I’LL BE CONTENT!!! As long as GOD is my BASIS…not my Biology degree, my families, my gifts and talents…I’ll be fine with whatever color gumballs that I have. As important as those things might be, they are not my foundation…God is!

We are in the midst of a great transition. We have to make some pivotal and life-changing decisions. I don’t know about you, but I NEED for my foundation to be strong, without any cracks. Check out your own foundation… is it really, truly God or are you looking for your own special gumball?

~ by Ann Bowman


Comments on: "Thanks for the Gumball!" (1)

  1. We all have put our trust in other things, going from relationship to relationship, cars, pedicures, a new dress thinking that this would fill the void only God can fill. Untill we choose him that void remains. Great post Ann.

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