My 2011 in Review
Michael Jordan: Fail Harder

Assumptions about the Pillsbury Doughboy

Pillsbury-doughboySometimes when Iʼm listening to the radio or hearing the voice of a cartoon character, I try to imagine what the person behind the voice looks like in real-life. For example, does the voice-over artist for the Chipmunks look like a little kid? Is the Geico Gecko really an englishman? Is the radio DJ Iʼm listening to fresh out of college or about to retire?
Itʼs always difficult to walk in the truth without the whole story.

During my undergraduate studies at Columbia, I remember our professor announcing that we would soon have a special guest lecturer: the voice behind the Pillsbury Doughboy!  This sent our imaginations racing as we all attempted to guess what he might look like based on what little information we had. Based on all those brief commercials I had seen and a few rumors I had heard, I assumed he would be a childlike, short, pasty fellow who invited one and all to poke his muffin-belly for a pudgy laugh. But thatʼs the problem when we allow our assumptions to shape reality: more often than not, weʼre wrong.

As a follower of Christ, I am striving to live in truth and grace. Sometimes I can stray when I make assumptions. Without the full story, I am prone to reach conclusions that are incongruent with reality.  Perhaps this is the source of too much stress and anger in our daily lives: our assumptions.

The good news is that when I fail with my assumptions and prejudices, restoration is available through genuine confession and repentance.  Assumptions are not the secret to spiritual growth; truth and grace are.

Which brings me back to the voice behind the Pillsbury Doughboy. The day finally arrived for our guest lecturer. And I was blown away. My assumptions did not prepare me for the truth that the man behind the Pillsbury Doughboy looks nothing like the pastryfilled, belly-button giggler I had assumed. The picture I had conjured up in my head failed in the light of reality! That day I met a distinguished gentleman named Cerby who greeted us with genuine warmth. We were enlightened by his life story, how he had leveraged his Pillsbury earnings to help others further their dreams in the streets of Chicago. My assumptions dissolved in the light of truth.

Perhaps this new year, I might do better by focusing my resolutions on something simple: battling my assumptions. Itʼs truly not a hard resolution to keep. Whenever I am faced with only half the story, I can resist the urge to jump to an assumption. All I have to do is think of the Pillsbury Doughboy; life is so much better when I pursue the truth in a spirit of grace.