Tuesday, November 18, 2008
WWSD- what would Sam do?!
Last night I was talking to my sister from Seattle on the phone (if you can even call it talking since somehow we have both lost our voices at the same time with respiratory infections). She was telling a sweet story about my five year nephew Sam. Every time he has piano lessons, the teacher gives him two gummy bears at the end of his lesson. Over the last several weeks, sweet Sam eats one and then gives his little brother Ben the other one.
My sister watched him do this for several weeks before telling him “Sammy, I’ve noticed that you share your extra gummy bear with Ben and I think that is really sweet that you share without anyone even asking you to.”
To which Sam replied VERY seriously “Mom, sometimes it feels good to eat BOTH gummy bears myself!! But when I share with Ben it feels good too and that good feeling lasts even longer because Ben really loves gummy bears and I see that it makes him so happy.”
I wish we all could adopt Sam’s attitude of giving. I wish that when we see other people’s needs before us, we would soften our hearts and ask ourselves, “What would Sammy do?” I have heard it said, “The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away!” To someone who has never experienced the joy of giving away something you really treasure that statement sounds ridiculous and just plain stupid. But for people like Sam who know what it feels like to give away something you really treasure, it is a feeling far greater than whatever limited and fleeting happiness is associated with that treasure we are holding onto.
Kurt preached on Sunday about the parable with the talents… Matthew 15:14-28 says, “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' His master replied, 'you wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
I can imagine if I am dealing out talents, I am going to trust people with hearts like Sam to receive the most because he has proven himself to be giving. God also reminds us in Luke 12:48, “Much is required from those to whom much is given” (NLT).
At Sam’s last piano lesson, his little brother Ben did not come to pick him. My sister secretly watched to see what Sam would do when given the opportunity to indulge in the extra treat for himself without anyone really knowing…. But Sam simply stuck the extra gummy in his pocket and then made a b line for Ben when he got home so he could deliver the yummy treat to its rightful owner. Every though Ben did nothing to earn that treat (he doesn’t spend the time learning the piano and practicing); Sam was sure to give to him. That’s giving and that’s grace and that’s what we need more in our lives!