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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Lessons Learned from an Tuff Donkey
By John Hunt
06/22/06


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Children pummeled the small donkey, delivering blow after merciless blow in what seemed a sadistic display. If they harbored any sympathy for the poor creature, the forty-two inch Louisville slugger they wielded certainly didn’t show it. Nonetheless, the donkey did not relent, but rather remained steadfast, proud and defiant – albeit lifeless, dangling from a tree branch by a six-inch rope. Piñatas are resilient that way.

Papier-mâché may be one of the toughest materials on earth. Some tout the prowess of titanium, tungsten, and diamonds; however, ounce for ounce, materials forged in today’s piñatas surpass them all. If you don’t believe me, just come by one of my kids’ birthday parties sometime. An hour of whacking one of the animal-shaped, prize-filled contraptions will soon convince you otherwise.

Piñatas haven’t always possessed such indestructible properties. Prior to the advent of the computer age, and the duct tape age, long before people simply bought piñatas at a local megastore, folks got them the old fashioned way (aside from asking their grandmother to make one); they built them, forging them from newspaper, paste, and a secret recipe closely guarded by one’s Aunt Thelma. Back then, piñatas happily broke apart, spilling a cache of toys, candy, and high-yielding municipal bonds. Now, however, as most forsake the ancient art of piñata-building passed down from their ancestors, manufacturers use space age composites to fashion popular party favors sold in stores. NASA, in fact, now constructs space shuttle heat shields out of the same indestructible material.

As the children at my daughter’s birthday party pelted the indestructible donkey, I recognized a life lesson to be learned. Many times we face insurmountable challenges in life. These challenges take many forms, such as finding a job, facing an illness, or breeching impenetrable party favors. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” (Matthew 11:22, 23, NIV). We can trust God when we face challenges in life, no matter what they may be, knowing He will give us strength to overcome them.

I encouraged the children not to give up and to continue swinging their bats, while I gently prodded the piñata with a welding torch and C4 explosives. Happily, the donkey expelled its contents, spurring screeches and gleeful expressions on the children’s’ faces as toys, candy, and silver coins cascaded to the ground.

And I smiled knowing the lesson we learned brought happiness to all.

Except, of course, to the piñata donkey.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/22/06
Very cute! I like the way you tucked a little lesson into a very entertaining and wry story. (I think the "an" in the title should be "a"). A pleasant devotional.
Virginia Gorg06/27/06
We've had pinatas - and yes, they are nearly impossible to break. Good message in here, well written. Thanks.
Joanne Malley09/05/06
Hey, John! I decided to see if you've written in a while - what fun as usual! I shall never look at a pinata the same. LOL Great to hear your writing voice again. :) Jo