Posts Tagged ‘values’

Thanks for Nothing!

“Mommy, look!  Can I try it?”

My daughter was pointing at the ‘crane’ vending machine, just in sight of the check-out line.  You know the kind — filled with stuffed animals and other prizes.  For only 75 cents a try, you work the controllers that maneuver the crane to the prize you want, grab it, and toss it into the chute.   With my skill level, I could blow a whole roll of quarters and still come up empty.

“No, sweetie.  It’s doesn’t really work that easily.  We’d end up wasting a lot of money and not get anything.”

Although disappointed, she seemed to be satisfied with my answer.  That was until he showed up. He headed straight for the machine, with two kids in tow who excitedly bounced along beside him.

Good, I thought.  Thank you, God.  Now she can see firsthand what a rip-off it is, and I don’t have to spend any money.

The coins clunk into the machine, and within 5 seconds– no exaggeration –he’s dropped not one, but two toys into the chute.  I’m sure he was a professional crane operator.   As I’m dragging my daughter out of the store, I’m hearing  her saying, “But Mom, you said it was hard to do!”  At the same time, I’m looking toward the heavens, saying, “Thanks, God.  Thanks a lot!”

I laugh about the scenario now, but I also think there’s a lesson here, and it’s not about vending machines.

I can’t expect someone I don’t know to teach my child a valuable life lesson.  I can’t expect the secular world to demonstrate the values that are at the core of my Christian beliefs.  My disappointment at the outcome was the result of my own misplaced expectations — that God would use this stranger to instruct my child.  That’s my responsibility. I can’t forget that. If the lesson is that important to me, I have to teach it myself.

God, Himself, instructed the children of Israel: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

Even though they are now adults, I can still teach my children about God’s commandments and precepts.  The lessons are too valuable to leave to chance.

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio   Permission is granted to share this post, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes. (you can share it, but please tell where you found it, who wrote it, and don’t try to sell it)