The Soul in Search of Enlightenment
A FATHER'S GIFT
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
The young man was getting ready to graduate from the Law Faculty at Yale University. For many months, he had admired a sports car at a dealer's car mart in town. He would sometimes go to the mart, and standing outside, would stare with barely suppressed longing at the object of his desire through the glass paneling of the showroom. Knowing fully well that his father, a wealthy industrialist, who also happened to be very proud of him, could well afford it, the young man walked up to him and told him that was all he wanted as a graduation gift.
On the morning of graduation day, his father called him into his study. He told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and how much he loved him. He then presented the young man with a beautiful; leather- bound Bible with his name embossed in gold. Angrily, the son stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible behind, and never to return. Quite obviously, he would have preferred the sports car.
Many years passed by, in which the young man had evolved into a very successful businessman, with a beautiful home and a wonderful family.
One day, an inexplicable wave of nostalgia washed over him. He realized his father, who he hadn't seen since he stormed out of the house in anger on graduation day, must by now be getting on in years, and feeling a strong urge to see him, he resolved to bury the ridiculous hatchet and visit with the old man. Before he could conclude arrangements to travel, however, he received a telegram informing of his father's death. At the reading of his father's will, he was told the old man had bequeathed his entire estate to him. That night, he cut a very lonesome picture as he forlornly stalked through a mansion that had once provided him so much security as a youngster. Finally, he found himself in his late father's study. He stood in the doorway for a moment, reliving that day, years before, when he had blundered angrily out of his father's life. Moments later, he took his seat before the huge mahogany desk from behind which many words of combined exhortation and admonition had been handed down to him as an adolescent. As he wearily rubbed his hands over his brow, his eyes inadvertently fell on a rich, leather-bound Bible at the left hand corner of the desk. Curiously, he picked it up, and intuitive insight immediately told him it was the same Bible the old man had presented to him on graduation day, many years back. With his eyes brimming with the tears of uncommon pain and regret, he opened the Bible only to discover that his father had underlined a scripture: Matthew 7:11 , and as he read the verse out aloud, something metallic seemed to drop from the back of the Bible. With a baffled and quizzical expression on his face, he bent down to pick the curious object. It was a key! He did not have to strenuously engage his imagination to guess that the key was for the same sports car he had admired so much many years ago.
In fact, the tag on the key was dated October 24, 1954, the day of his graduation from Yale.
How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
The young man in this story presents a typical example of how a lot us go through life treating God as if he was some sort of vending machine. We make our demand, and then expect that his response, especially if our demand belongs to the realm of the material, will match, to the point of exactitude, our desire. Yet, our Almighty Creator does not always function quite as we expect him to in relation to our petitions to him. The common refrain: man proposes but God disposes is true to the perfectly valid extent that God packages His blessings in such a manner that they will be for our ultimate good.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; always keeping at the back of your mind that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. If your gift is not packaged quite the way you would prefer it, almost invariably, it's because it is better packaged that way! Always maintain the humility to appreciate the little things that come your way. This is because it has been proven that, in the realm of both our mundane and divine existence, those little things lead, not only and necessarily to bigger things, but also to blessed attachments!