Discernment: How many licks does it take to get to the toosie roll center of a tootsie roll pop?

Remember this commercial? In the most common version of this commercial, shown during Charlie Brown commercial breaks, there was one main character a little boy. This little boy went to a cow and asked, “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie roll pop?” the cow responds telling the boy that he does not know because he always bites it. The cow redirects him to a fox, who gives the same response. The fox redirects him to a turtle who also responds the same and redirects him to an owl who the turtle says is the wisest of them all. When asked the owl takes three licks and bites the tootsie roll pop.

Okay… so what does this have to do with discernment exactly? The commercial concludes saying “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie roll pop? The world may never know” The little boy never received an answer to his question because everyone he asked bites. So perhaps the answer varies, and the little boy is left to discern how many licks to take before he bites the tootsie pop.

  Right… so what does this have to do with you? Let’s setup and analogy. You are the little boy, every lick of the tootsie pop is a “no” you give or are given, the bite of the tootsie pop is the “yes” that you have been anticipating. This is a reminder that you have the power to say no and preserve yourself for situations, opportunities that help build you and do not deplete you. Every no that you give or are given is one opportunity closer to that yes you cannot stop thinking about and planning for. Please know that every opportunity is not for you and that it is completely okay to say no. Also know that when you are told no it more so means not for you or not here, not now.  When presented with an opportunity discern through prayer, meditation, journaling, consulting someone you know you can trust, or whatever works for you. Matthew 5:37 says “Let your “yes” be your “yes” and your “no” be your “no””. There are no ifs, ands, buts, maybes, or in betweens. Discern and then commit. In tootsie terms keep licking, giving and receiving no’s, until you know it’s time to bite, say yes and mean it. 


So, question how many no’s does it take to get to that one yes you are anticipating? The world may never know, but you will. Discern and commit.



I trust myself with myself.

I am wise enough to say no or yes when needed.

I am confident in my yes, goodness follows it.

I have the time and resources I need to discern.


By: Christian Pridgen