The World Will Know
Tuesday - February 16th
Devotionals from the Book of James
Scripture to Read Today: James 3:13-18
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy
and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Since Mr. Owl first dared to unravel one of the confectionery world's most puzzling secrets in the classic 1970 TV commercial, dedicated Tootsie Pop fans everywhere have tried to provide a definitive answer. Many have attempted and failed to lick their way to the center of the Tootsie Pop. The temptation to bite and reach the embedded Tootsie Roll inside has proven too great - just like it was for Mr. Owl. The narrator concludes the whole commercial with the line, "the world may never know."
At least three serious, detailed scientific studies have attempted to determine the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. In one of those studies, a group of engineering students from Purdue University reported that its licking machine, modeled after a human tongue, took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Twenty of the group's volunteers assumed the licking challenge-unassisted by machinery-and averaged 252 licks each to the center.
So, maybe the world will know after all!
In the 1970s cartoon commercial, Mr. Owl was the pinnacle of wisdom among the creatures the boy questions. When Mr. Turtle recommends Mr. Owl, he says, "after all, he is the wisest of them all." For various reasons, the owl has stood as a symbol of wisdom for generations. Mr. Turtle pointed the boy to the final, wisest authority he knew.
James 3:13-18 contrasts wisdom that is earthly and wisdom that is heavenly. Mr. Owl, as wise as he may be, does not represent the wisdom of heaven. The God of Heaven has the highest and ultimate wisdom. While our Lord knows the number of licks required to get to the center of any candy (not just a Tootsie Pop), His wisdom is so much more.
When we seek out God's wisdom for our lives, as James encourages us to do in James 1:5, we receive insight from above. "The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17). The world may know that wisdom. God offers it to His children.
That description of the wisdom of heaven James gives us is beautiful. That kind of wisdom makes a difference in our world. While it may be fun to figure out the number of licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop, the wisdom God offers us as His children will make a real impact in the world as we exercise it.
The world can know the wisdom of God. As His children receive it and live it out, it is beautiful!