The Present You Cannot Buy

Jaxon, our grandson, spent the night with us recently.  This month he will turn the ripe old age of six and is about as busy as the bees swarming around our purple butterfly bush.  No word describes Jax’s exuberance for life nor a power strong enough to slow him down.  Trust me, we tried, but to no avail.

We planned on taking him to the community pool to waterlog some of his energy, but the roar of thunder only allowed an hour for us to burn a small amount of fuel in his supply tank.  Now what?

Target is my cure for all things.  You can ask my 17-year-old granddaughter, my nephews, nieces, and all those who once were my little tykes, how much I love shopping for toys. 

“Jax, wanna’ go to Target?” I questioned, knowing his answer.  I swear I glimpsed flashing green dollar signs in his dark brown eyes, so I gave him a budget.  I understand he doesn’t yet comprehend how or why one toy is $100.00, and another of the same size is $10, but those little ones get it when I say, “No, we can’t afford that!”

After we buckled our seat belts, I announced, “Son, we have one stop to make before hitting the toy aisle at Target.  We must go to the Dollar Tree.”

“Why?”  He replied with a bit of groan between the w and y. 

“I’ll explain when we get there,”  I answered with a mocking groan causing the bee to snicker.

Rules of Giving

It would be lovely if I had been the awesome grandparent who came up with this idea for kids, but I am not.  However, I will pass such wisdom on to anyone with a child buzzing around their lives.   

After my husband, Jax, and I piled out of our car, I explained to him the rules before entering the store.   Sometimes the buzzing Jax creates causes him not to listen to ‘rules,’ but I am an accomplished, experienced bee wax remover.

“Mid-summer each year, a big blue box is placed inside the store to donate school supplies for children whose families cannot afford to purchase all they will need.”

I continued, “So, I am giving you money to buy whatever supplies you want to put in the box.  You cannot keep any for yourself, and you will not ask for candy or toys while we are here.”

The bee asked, “Why do those kids have no money?”

“Well, there will always be a need for you to help others.  Someday you also might require help.  One never knows, but I guarantee you one thing, you receive greater blessings by giving gifts away.”

“You mean I get a present one day for helping?” 

“Yes, you do, but you will never know when and how it will arrive.”

Learning Compassion

He enthusiastically selected rulers, pencils, and an extraordinary dinosaur pencil case.  He carefully placed them in the cart along with glue sticks, crayons, notebooks, pens, scissors, and other supplies.  I realized quickly we were extending the budget, but at that point, to put items back didn’t seem appropriate or honorable.

The toy Jax bought at Target will be forgotten within a month, but the lesson he learned by helping others hopefully will be with him forever.  It is a principle we all must learn and teach.

It would take the entire paper to quote how many times God speaks of offering our aid to others, helping the poor, and the joy it gives Him when we do.  One of the most striking verses is from Proverbs 21:13, “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.”

We all have been poor at some point in our lives.  Perhaps not from financial destitution but from a barren, hardened heart.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather lose all my possessions than cry out to God and He not be there for me.  Without faith, I know I would own nothing.

For seven years, I have written and contributed a weekly column for many newspapers and do so without pay.  However, I respect and appreciate my editors, who graciously promote my books and efforts.  To work for no wage sounds crazy, but it is my words that I give away, and when I receive a response from a reader, that is my reward. 

I know God summoned me to write; He is there whenever I call His name.

Hopefully, with each passing year, Jax will also understand and trust that God always hears him.  That is the gift that success, money, or fame can never buy.