The Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment
(By Roy Irwin)

"You can see a lot by observing." ~ Yogi Berra ~

A room full of children. A plate full of chocolate chip cookies. The setting could not have been more perfect! Who would have believed that it was the beginning of an experiment whose outcome would still affect me some 30 years later...

It went something like this: Each person was allowed to choose a cookie but told not to eat it. Instructions were given that for the next 5 minutes each person should study their cookie closely, observing every detail, in order to learn what makes their particular cookie unique.

At the end of the allotted time the cookies were collected and mixed together on a plate. Then, one at a time, each child was invited to come up and see if they could identify 'their' cookie. One by one, almost immediately, each child excitedly identified and was reunited with 'their' cookie!

Each person was then asked to share with the group what it was about their cookie that made it unique. Like proud parents the children shared different traits that made their particular cookie special: One had a lot of chocolate chips; another almost none. For some it was the placement of the chips, creating an unusual shape or pattern. One had a crack on one side, another was a different shade of color. One of the more easily identifiable cookies was missing a 'bite' from an overeager (and hungry) child!

I've shared this 'experiment' with other groups over the years: Scouts, church groups, work groups, gatherings of friends. And each time the results are always the same - everyone can identify 'their' cookie and beams with pride in describing it! Give it a try sometime! It's also a great excuse to enjoy chocolate chip cookies! (note: I'm 'sure' this would work with other types of cookies, but not with broccoli, asparagus or other vegetables...)

As I was enjoying yet another chocolate chip cookie this week, I was replaying in mind those events from years ago when I was introduced to the above lesson. If children could so quickly and easily identify and take pride in their special cookie, how much more special is each of us in the eyes of God?

I was reminded again of several promises from the Bible that give us a glimpse of how special and unique we are to God; how He knows each of us uniquely and individually; and how much He loves us.

In the book of Genesis God reveals that we were made in His image. From Jeremiah 1:5 God shares an intimate portrait of His individual relationship with each of us by writing "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." (NIV) In Jeremiah 31:3 God tells us, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." (NIV) And we learn in Matthew 10:30 that God knows each of us so well that "God even knows how many hairs are on your head." (ICB)

Words are one thing, but ultimately God revealed His love for each of us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to earth for the sole purpose of paying for your sins and mine through His death on the cross. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (NIV)

So the next time you're enjoying a chocolate chip cookie, remember and hold fast to this promise from Romans 8:35: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (NIV)

"Dear Lord Jesus, help us to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is Your love for each of us. Help us to see our Worth in You - that we were loved by You even while we were still in the womb - and that NOTHING can separate us from Your love. Thank you Jesus! May we learn to love You and trust You more - full of Your hope - as we continue growing in Your love. Amen."

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)

(Copyright 1998 Argyle Giraffe Productions. This may not be resold or used for the enhancement of any product sold without the written permission of Argyle Giraffe Productions.)

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