Krispy Kreme – The One True Doughnut

Today is National Doughnut Day, and I’m here to preach to you the Gospel of Krispy Kreme. Sure, there are other doughnuts, but they just aren’t even in the same league. Krispy Kreme is a melt-in-your-mouth bit of yumminess that is unique among doughnuts. They are yeast doughnuts.

All other doughnuts are nice, but they are cake doughnuts. Cake doughnuts are dry. They crumble. They have to be eaten with milk or coffee. They make you feel full much too fast. Cake doughnuts are only acceptable the day they are made. They aren’t even really great that day, but they are passable.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are soft and tasty for several days after purchase. But the best time to eat them is when they are hot. The stores have a huge neon sign letting you know that are making doughnuts right then. There is even an app for your iPhone that will let you know when they are making doughnuts at a location near you. How is that for customer service and satisfaction? Also, their website says that the ingredients are vegetarian and kosher – win!

The best part is that you can even watch the doughnuts being made. In other places they are only visible when they are ready to be sold. It is not only cool to watch them being made, but it proves that this company is trustworthy. No sneakiness here! No skulking around in the back, making doughnuts on the sly. At a Krispy Kreme store you can see the doughnuts ride in the proofer, rising up on perforated metal trays like a vertical Ferris Wheel. Then they come to their bath of hot oil, where they bob along like contented rubber duckies. Shortly they are turned to cook the other side with beautiful acrobatic flip. They then travel to a metal conveyor where they glide under a shower of white cream, coating them with a delectable thin layer of liquid sugar that cools to a crackly consistency. It is just magical to watch the entire process.

But the proof of the glory of Krispy Kreme is their motto. “Hot, Fresh, Now”. If that isn’t a mantra, I don’t know what one is. Even their shape is meditative. The original, plain doughnuts are round, like the infinity of time and space. They are empty in the middle, to remind you to empty your mind. They are like a beautiful visual Zen koan.

I accept that there are people who like other doughnuts. I’m sad for them that they don’t appreciate the glory that is Krispy Kreme. I’ll eat other doughnuts if I have no other choice, but I’ll be thinking about the tender, moist, sweet goodness of Krispy Kreme the whole time.

My friends, I tell you that Krispy Kreme is The One True Doughnut. All other doughnuts are OK, but as for me and my house, we will eat Krispy Kreme.

Thankfulness or Blessing – what comes first?

What comes first, the thankfulness or the blessing? We give thanks for our food before we eat it. It is sitting right in front of us. But we normally give thanks for our blessings after we receive them, if we remember to give thanks at all. Often we are so caught up in the fact that we finally have what we want that we forget to be thankful.

But what if we are thankful before we get what we want? What if we pray our prayer of thankfulness even before we can see what we are going to get? What if we are thankful even before we know what we are going to get?

Jesus tells us to pray as if we already have received. In Mark 11:22-24 “22 Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for—believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” (HCSB)

Then you may think, but I don’t have that much strength in my prayer. I can’t pray that well. I have doubt. It is hard to believe. In Matthew 17: 20 we learn from Jesus that not much faith is required. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (HCSB) Just pray for it, and know that God will do the rest. A tiny bit of faith is a lot in God’s hands.

Does God need us to pray before we get our blessing because it is already on the way? Might it be that we need to be prepared to receive our blessing?

I have noticed that when I pray before anything, I’m the one to change first. I start looking for God. I start looking to see where God is going to pop up and surprise me. I pray before helping patrons at work. I pray before leaving my house. I pray before meeting with friends. I am trying to be in a constant state of prayer. I’m not very good at it, but I’m trying.

I remember when I used to smoke pot. I’d smoke, and I’d wait to see what happened. Food would taste better. I could hear parts of an album that I’d never noticed before. In reality, all of that was already there. I just put myself in a position where I was looking for it. I expected to experience life in a different way. I think prayer is the same way. I think prayer opens us up to receiving God. We open the door and God steps in.

I think that God was going to send us that blessing anyway, but we just wouldn’t have noticed it. How often do we take things for granted? How often do we think that what we have is just OK and not that much?

I heard once that praying before meals proves that we are not animals. One goal in Judaism is to be a mensch, a real person. We need to become human, to win over our animal nature. The goal of true alchemy is to transform the lead of our animal nature into the gold of our human nature.

Praying makes us human. Praying makes us better.

So what should we pray for? A new car? Extra money to pay off our mortgage? The get-rich-quick pastors of the megachurches would tell you that. Their message is the “prosperity gospel”. The fact that it has to have an extra word to describe it should be a clue that it isn’t the Gospel of Jesus.

Pray for big stuff. Pray for things not for yourself. God is big. God wants to hear from you. That is part of why God made you.

Pray for nuclear disarmament. Pray for peace and understanding among the nations. Pray for an end to war and greed. Pray for people to wake up to their true nature. Pray for us all to take care of ourselves and our planet.

Don’t be hesitant. Pray hard. Pray without ceasing. Pray as if we already have it. And remember that God always answers prayers. Sometimes it isn’t what we want it to be – but it is always what is needed. Pray for the grace to be able to accept God’s answer. But most importantly, pray.