The boys were already bored at the skate park. Doing tricks on a skateboard takes a lot of energy. Pumping your skate board around makes you sweat. You gotta take a break. The sun is finally out, but you better have a drink with you. Charlie’s mind normally spinning, but he has to sit still and listen at school. His thoughts don’t have to though!
‘Phew! The sun is out! Let’s go.’ Barely dressed, throwing his school uniform, as a tornado, he jumps on one foot to the front door. Mum, we are off! His dad starts the car. He drives him to the local skate park. Strong, athletic looking, unemployed by choice, he doesn’t mind hanging around skate park for hours. What else to do? Hoping one day his son will rise to a Pro- skater. ‘We will be laughing then, mate!’ At the moment, as his inheritance sleeping through his fingers, he is putting his trust in to a lottery.’Euro lotto winner! That would be a day!’ We will be straight on the plane to California, son.
‘Dad, can we decorate on a Christmas tree?’ A tradition to decorate the closest tree with old skate shoes was instantly born. Never mind it is June. ‘ Go on, then.’ Lifting his tall body lazily off the concrete, where he was catching his free tan, his dad starts to tie the shoe string on to a branch.
I will go home and bring my pair, – excitedly joins with the idea, Tom. Just a sec, I will be right back.
Tom rushes through the door as a fresh wind. Mum, can I have my old skate shoes please?
What for?- she inquires
We are making a Christmas tree at the park, pleeeese, begging with those deep dark eyes.
Let’s just check with you dad, if he says ‘yes’, I don’t mind.
Tom’s dad is nothing like Charlie’s dad. He is the man with a vision. He is well aware that there are poor around the world. He says: ‘No’. Tom sadly walks out, his head hanging low.
It took me a while to agree with my husband. Yes, I understand he wants to send those old shoes to Africa or Eastern Europe – wherever the need is, but shall we deprive our own children from fun? It was a good question. The problem was I or my children haven’t seen real poverty that much. Since my husband started traveling around the world, he comes home and tells us stories that are hard to imagine. Picture children running bare feet, drinking dirty water right from the pool in Jakarta; a widow, kissing him hands for giving her a fiver in Tanzania. And these stories keep coming.
While considering the others, who have much less, ‘fun & games’ are somehow not that funny. I do get moved to give these days reluctantly, since when ‘single and not fussy about food’ makes it so much easier to give. My husband keeps telling me that we can cut here and there to give more. He wants to give till it hurts us. I find it hard to swallow, but the Lord slowly opens my eyes to the needs of others. Once, I was in the shop and run into a man who takes goods to help with a Romanian ministry. He was leaving that day on his trip. I had 20 pounds on me, but I needed that money for shopping. ‘What shall I do?’ I had to think fast. Somehow this seemed strange & too much of a mere coincidence. I gave him the money, not knowing how I was going to buy shopping & feed my own children. The Lord had provided for us. The priced for the food dropped, lots of bargains and we eat like kings. Compare to some people around the world.
On another occasion, I felt I should give money to certain people. Weeks went by and did nothing about it. Until someone directly shared with me that these people have a great need. Why do we wait to bless someone when we can? Why out love for the Lord and His people often so lukewarm? The answer is plainly simple. We are obsessed with ourselves. It really makes me wonder when some therapist say that first thing you need to learn how to love yourself. Yes, really?!! For most of us – it is not a problem, easy!
An Encouraging thought
When we are willing to recognize that everything we have comes straight from the hand of God. He loves a cheerful/hilarious giver & will repay a hundredfold when we are willing to share with poor or those who bring Good News to the lost, we never can out give God, but we can robe ourselves from great joy. Just do it! Simple as that. As the Lord prompts. Don’t wait for triple conformations.
As mother’s we do get carried away, wishing the best & the more for our own children. I met a lot of families when children have everything … yet they are still ‘not happy’. They become unhappy consumers who are never satisfied no matter what you do for them – for the rest of their lives, perhaps. They scream to their mothers, driving in Chrysler with the movie on: ‘I hate you!’
This doesn’t have to be your case. Take control of your kid’s minds & hearts. Teach them how to appreciate little things in life & you will give them something that no one can take away. Teach them how to consider others because it is hard. But the reward of their gratitude & appreciation of life itself later on is worth it. And the Lord is on your side because:
‘I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord will keep you from all evil;he will keep your life.’