Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for
others. Colossians 3:23
Not long ago I had two little boys in my class who were cousins.These two boys were good friends who laughed and played with everyone. One day we were playing sight word bingo and one of the boys won a new pencil from the treasure box. A few games later, his cousin was still without a win when he was lucky enough to win a second pencil. He returned to the table and without saying a word pushed the pencil across the table to his cousin. Their eyes exchanged a silent thank you and we all continued playing. Later that day, I mentioned to the generous cousin that I thought his actions had been very kind. He just looked down at his shuffling feet and said, “I can only write with one pencil at a time and besides, Jesus would have given His extra pencil to His cousin I think.” There just wasn’t anything more to say so I just winked and told him I thought he made Jesus smile.
We worry a lot about what we should do, say, wear and buy. Many of our decisions, even the simple ones are balanced against some invisible social scale. What will others think if I do that or if my kids do this or if I show up
wearing those? Every now and again life has a way of wrinkling up the rug and tripping us. This weekend as I was doing some grocery shopping I
saw the Salvation Army bell ringers. I thought, man, it’s only November 24th and they are already posted outside every doorway of every store. I am always overcome with guilt if I pass by one without putting in some change. I guess I don't want others to think I'm stingy. I was completely ashamed of my attitude as I walked into the store. As I was trudging through the produce section, I thought of those volunteers who brave the cold and wind and snow to help those in need and I was embarrassed that I was "small" enough to be grumbling about it. I remembered the story of the widow and her coins and realized I needed to think about things differently. She gave not from her surplus but from the only three coins she had, all for the love of God. As I was thinking about that three small children took the pennies they were saving to ride the store pony ride, and decided to put them in the Salvation Army bucket instead. The bell ringer thanked them and said in a loud cheerful voice, “May God bless you!” Those were the perfect words, they were the reminder I needed, those four words contained the whole meaning of "doing and giving". The three little kids smiled and skipped all the way to their mini-van.
The whole situation caused me to think about this verse from Colossians in a new way. I’m not supposed to do things so someone will notice or not notice me. I’m supposed to be generous with my time, talents and resources because I want to serve the Lord, not man. Those little kids who turned over their pony ride pennies weren’t excited because other shoppers had seen what they did, they were happy because they had done a Christ-like thing. As I was driving home, I wondered what life would be like if I based all my actions on one simple thing…how much can I love and please God today. What if I worried half as much about what He thought as I did what my neighbor thought? And just to show off, God reminded me of this verse using the one thing guaranteed to get my attention…children! The cousins and the three kids with pennies…He used them to show me where I need to work! Once again God, we were led by a child!
A seed to plant: Before you turn the calendar page to December, prayerfully ask God to show you what you can do to serve Him. We finish November giving thanks; now let’s get ready for December by planning to do something for the Lord with love.
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com