Letting Go of Second Best
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”
Matthew 10:39, The Message
A cheerful girl with bouncy, golden curls, Jenny was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them; a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. “Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!”
Quickly, the mother checked the back of the little box, and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face. “It costs $1.95,” she said “That’s almost two dollars. If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you, and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday’s only a week away, and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her piggy bank and counted out seventeen pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores, and she went to ask their neighbor, Mrs. McJames, if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill. At last Jenny had enough to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel grown and special. She wore them everywhere – Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a loving daddy, and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favorite.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand-new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful, and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”
“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and a tear rolled down her cheek.
“What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?”
Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy. It’s for you.”
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He’d had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so her could give her genuine treasure.
So like our heavenly Father.
Have you placed your life in His hands yet today?
Copied from “Espresso for Your Spirit” by Pam Vredevelt