I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. I pray you all have a safe holiday, while spending time with loved ones. Speaking of loved ones, here’s a story I’m sure will make you appreciate those you love even more. A word of warning: get some Kleenex; you’re going to need it.
The Gold Wrapping Paper – An Inspirational Short Christmas Story
Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”
The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
Whew. Gotcha, didn’t it? Leave a comment letting me know what you think about this wonderful, heartfelt story.
Imagine. You’re invited to an extravagant party. When you arrive, you and a party of eleven strangers are escorted to a gorgeous, lavish table with an enormous silver bowl filled with twelve white envelopes. Your curiosity is piqued when the host reveals that inside each envelope is five thousand dollars.
Suddenly, the host is called away for an important phone call. Before leaving the room, he informs that each of you can have one of the envelopes. But if you can wait until he returns, he will double what is inside the envelope. “For those who can’t wait,” he says, “take an envelope and feel free to leave. And thank you for coming.”
Under an unknown watch, the wait begins. One hour – two impatient guests retrieve their prize and quickly leave.
Two hours – four more guests hastily scoop up their gifts and head for the door.
Six hours – two tapping their fingers on table, look around the room, reach into the bowl, take their envelopes and leave.
Ten hours – murmurs of “how long do we have to wait. I’m tired. I’m hungry. This is dumb. Why would he invite us and not even feed us.” Two more exit.
The eleventh hour. You look over and smile at the only remaining guest across from you-just you and him. Standing up, looking around, he tips his hat, reaches into the bowl, wags the envelope and waves goodbye.
The sun is coming up, beaming through the stunning picture windows. You glance at your watch. It’s been twelve hours since you walked into the room. Tired, discouraged, you think about reaching for the last envelope. But you resist.
Over your shoulder, out of the corner of your eye, you see a figure. The host walks up. He smiles. He hands you twelve white envelopes, one for you and one for every guest that left early. His chauffer drives you home – it was worth the wait. Now imagine this same scenario with a bunch of third graders. Instead of white envelopes, the prize is a big bowl of marshmallows, your child’s favorite. Could he delay the urge to eat? He might if he reads Don’t Eat the Marshmallows… Yet!
For this Good Friday, my son and I read this story. Encouraging him to be more like the last guy – delaying gratification. I want him to understand you can reap bountiful rewards in life if you can delay personal gratification. Is it hard? Sure! Is it worth it? Definitely. I shared with him Dave Ramsey’s motto, “IF YOU WILL LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, LATER YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE.” And he will, if he learns to eat the marshmallows, but just not yet.
I invite you to tell us your GOOD FRIDAY story; in the meantime, help yourself.
Where is the Wealthiest place on earth?
Many believe it’s in the oil rich reserves of the Middle East. Or the diamond mines of South Africa. There are even those who tell you it’s in all the cemeteries of the world.
None of those answers are correct, not one.
Of the three places mentioned, why would people believe wealth could ever possibly be in the grave? You no doubt heard this overused and under-thought excuse: “Many people in cemeteries died before their treasures could be realized.”
A treasure that can’t be accessed isn’t a treasure.
No, there are zero treasures in the cemeteries, none of which are of any value to us.
So where does all the wealth of the world lie? Where it’s always been, right here.
Our true wealth is in the living. So, instead of focusing on what could have been, let’s gear our hearts and minds on what can be.
Case in point:
An eight-year-old boy turned in filthy homework every day. It had soot all over it, smearing the pages with dirty smudges. It smelled of smoke, and so did the boy. The kids would laugh, and every time he handed it to his teacher, she begrudgingly accepted it; for a week this went on. Finally at end of the week she said: “meet with me after class.”
“Why is your work like this? Don’t you care enough about school not to hand in work like this?”
With his head down, the boy answered. “Our house caught on fire. Our furniture was ruined; there was water everywhere, and we had nowhere else to go, so we had to move back in. All of the lights won’t work, so I have to do my homework by candlelight.”
With tears in her eyes, she gladly accepted the homework and told the boy he could do his homework after class in her classroom.
That’s why I believe the wealth of the world is in the hearts and minds of our children and the people of all nations, who have the fortitude to not give up. Period.
If you’re not familiar with our Good Friday, please read: Good Fridays. If you like, please join us for this Good Friday.
Our Good Friday: Read a book to a child before Friday, then come back and tell us how it went. And as always, keep your head up.