11 January, 2008

Lunch Sharer or Lunch Trader?

Back to school. Our 3 week break is over and it is time for us to begin
our 2nd trimester of Language School. The schedule is an hour longer
this trimester due to the large group of students that are beggining
their studies in December. Because of this longer schedule, our girls
are in class longer and therefore need to take their lunch each day,
whereas before we all got out at noon and ate lunch together at home.

Yesterday my almost 5 year old, Avigail, was telling Keeley and I how
she has been sharing her lunch with several of her friends. After doing
the fatherly thing and explaining to her that it was kind to share, but
she needed to make sure she personally ate enough of her lunch in order
to not be hungry too soon, I started to reflect on this desireable trait
my daugter was exibiting.

Thinking back to my elementary school days, I could clearly remember taking my lunch box to school (Scooby-Doo if you must know...) and eating lunch with my friends in the cafeteria (aka the gym). I recall having three distinct categories of items in my lunchbox most days.

First, there was the necessary, but mostly boring main item, usually a sandwich of some variety. Second, was the slightly more appealing side item, commonly potato chips. And then came the third, and most important item, desert. Desert came in many different delicious forms. Anything made by Hostess, Dolly Madison, or Little Debbie was always a big hit.

In the economy of lunch box items, category one items were nearly
worthless in terms of trade value. Category two items had a little
value, especially if you had the envogue flavor of chip. But category
three items were as good as gold.

As each pre-adolescent boy unlatched and opened his cartoon themed metal
lunch box, a quick scan of the contents was made and eyes become fixed
upon the prized pieces. The lunchroom floor is now open for trading.
In a mad flury of bids, rejections, counter-bds, and deals closing, the
trading process begins and ends. Usually everyone ended up happier at
the end of trading (unless you traded for an "unknown" and ended up not
liking it).

So what does this have to do with my daughter? As I already mentioned,
she is a lunch sharer. As is evident from my story, I am (or at least
was) a lunch trader.

My daughter simply shares her lunch with her friends without asking for
anything in return. She enjoys giving away that which is valuable to
her simply because it brings joy to others. As I reflected on my days
as a lunch trader, I realized that I only gave away that which was
valuable to me if I was going to receive in return something of equal or
greater value.

Have I carried that same "lunch trader" mentality into my life as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Do I only share with others that which is valuable to me when I am going to receive something in return?

The answers to these questions has prompted me to get on my face before God and ask for his forgiveness.

I want to be a man who freely gives of all that God has entrusted to my care. God please make me a lunch sharer.

Are you a lunch sharer or a lunch trader?

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