Monday, November 29, 2010

From Jimmy: On Giving Versus Getting Rid Of

(From Lessons I Learned from My Kids When I Was Supposed to Be Teaching Them)

On Giving Versus Getting Rid Of

            When Jimmy was about 8 years old, he collected  trading cards, mostly basketball cards.  There was always something about the way his eyes would light up when presented with a fresh, unopened pack of trading cards.  He would carefully PEEL the packet open, and then slowly fan the cards to see if he got a “good” one.   He would set aside the cards he deemed were “worth SO much” (mostly Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant ones) and then discard the rest of the pack into his “give to Momma’s class” stack.  He was meticulously careful about not folding corners, leaving smudge marks, and keeping his valuable cards in mint condition so as not to lose their value.
            One day, some friends we hadn’t seen in a long time came over for a visit.  Jimmy wanted so much to give something to these friends, so he asked his dad and me if we would care if he gave a gift to his friends.  We told him, no, we didn’t mind, and that he was being very thoughtful and generous.  While the grown-ups visited, the young ‘uns traded cards, and we heard squeals of delight, and Jim and I shared a secret smile, knowing Jimmy had just bestowed his gift upon his friends.
            Later, after they had left, we asked Jimmy how his gift-giving went.  He said his friends LOVED his Kobe Bryant mint condition rookie card.  HIS KOBE BRYANT MINT CONDITION ROOKIE CARD!  His dad and I saw red when we heard.  “Son, you had all these other Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan mint condition cards – triples of them!  Why didn’t you just give away the ones you had a lot of?  That was your one and only rookie card!  That was worth a lot!” I cried.
            He looked at us, puzzled.  “I know that, Mom.  That’s why I gave it,  because it was worth a lot.  If I gave them one of the other ones I had extras of, I wouldn’t have been giving a gift, I would have just been getting rid of a card.”
            Then he went back to rearranging his trading cards.

How often do we deceive ourselves into thinking we are giving to God and His cause, when all we’re really doing is getting rid of our extras?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make my day by leaving me a comment. It's always nice to know when someone's been by...