It was my grandson’s birthday. It was one of those “his choice” days…what to buy, where to eat. He decided he wanted to go to the bookstore to buy the next book in the series he was reading, and after that Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and a few games.
After selecting his book, his grandfather and I told him he could get one more. He was elated and did his cute “leg out in front” skip and hop. With the two new books in a bag under his arm, we were off to Chuck E. Cheese.
What to eat? His very own personal pepperoni pizza and a small drink. And to play….not 10, not 20, but 50 tokens! The tokens were in digital form placed on what appeared to be a Chuck E. Cheese credit card.
I had them divide the tokens between two cards (just in case one got lost) and, as an added precaution, we purchased a wristband to hold the card. With a skip he was off to play some games, coming back from time to time for a sip of soda or a bite of pizza.
The unthinkable had happened: he had put his card down and someone had switched the cards.
Finally, card one was finished and he was ready to start on card two. We reminded him, “Don’t put the card down, it might get lost. Keep it on your wrist,”… and off he went.
In just a few minutes he was back. The unthinkable had happened: he had put his card down and someone had switched the cards. His was gone … and the one left in its place had no tokens left.
He was dejected. Gone was his happiness. The two new books held no joy.
His personal pizza held no joy. The fun he had had with the more than 25 games he had played didn’t count anymore. All he could think of were the tokens he had lost and the unfairness of it all. His day was ruined.
And the Lord spoke to my heart….
“That’s the way you are. I’ve given you so many blessings and if just one is gone, whether by your own fault or because I took it away for some reason, your joy is gone. No longer do you rejoice in all the other blessings, all you can think about is the one that is gone.”
Lord, you are the One who gives and you are the one who takes away. Help me rejoice in You. Help me to be thankful for the blessings you give me and not take them as my just due. And if you choose to take one away, help me say with Job, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)