Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Boy and the Bike

There once was a boy who got a bike from his dad for his birthday. He looked at the bike and thought, "Wow, what a temptation for me. I better not get too excited about this bike. I might end up greedy and selfish." He let the bike sit on the garage wall and would look at it every once and a while. Occasionally he would take a ride on it, but then he would feel guilty and ashamed and call it a sinful delight.

There was a friend of his who also received a bike from his dad for his birthday. This boy took a look at the bike and thought, "Wow, this bike is so much better than everyone else's bike." He went to his friends, including the boy who didn't ride his bike, and got into a big argument with them about which bike was better, safer, etc... When he got home to his family he was grumpy that not everyone wanted a bike just like his.

There was another boy who also got a bike from his dad for his birthday. He looked at the bike and without another thought he grabbed it and took off. He forgot about dinner with his family because he loved the bike. The only problem was that when trying to show off for his friends he fell and broke a leg.

And finally, there was the boy who received the bike from his dad, took a look at it and joyfully exclaimed, "Thank you, dad! This is great!" He got on the bike and zoomed down the road, waving to his dad, smiling. As he passed the group of arguing boys he called for them to join him, wondering why they didn't enjoy their bikes. When he got home for dinner he talked excitedly with his dad about the fun he had on the bike. Afterwards, he carefully fine-tuned the bike and put on the wall, making sure to take care of what his dad gave him.

Which dad do you think was the most pleased with his son?


In case you didn't get what I was getting at in this little parable, let me put it another way. Our Heavenly Father, through his creation and providence, has provided great blessings of food for us. We can look at these blessings and react in different ways. We could ignore them. We could spend all our time arguing about them. We could focus on the blessings themselves without remembering the Father who gave them, making idols of food. Or we could take this food and delight in God's goodness, giving thanks to Him for providing such wonderful things for us. It is with this last option that we will act like true sons of our Father, fulfilling the purpose of His blessings to us. In fact, this thankfulness will be a blessing in itself.

You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. And if the way is too long for you...then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household...
At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.
(Deuteronomy 14:22-26, 28-29)

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
(Psalm 107:8)

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:11)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 14:17)

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
(1 Timothy 4:1-5)

1 comment:

  1. Nice analogy, Peter. Thanks for bringing these scriptures to remembrance.