Can you look at this picture and find the mistakes? When you look at this sentence, can you find the errors? I can remember being asked to watch a short video and to watch how many times the ball was passed. Then after the video was over, the question was, did you see a gorilla? What? Are you good at seeing illusions? What are the points to all of these things that are asked of us?
We look for the bonfire; we miss the candle. We listen for the shout; we miss the whisper. Are these points we miss? What points are we missing?
Luke 12:15 — “Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance, his life does not result from the things he possesses.”
Having desires for the things we need in life is normal. We are motivated to work to provide for ourselves. If we can compare the differences between everyday needs and greed, we can easily see the unbalance. When we are camping we need a small campfire to keep us warm and to cook our food. This is a controlled need. Greed is something that is destruction and out of control. So let’s review how we think about preparing for the camping trip.
Instead of wanting to gather a small amount of wood for our little fire, our greed to have the biggest and best fire may cause us to make some careless mistakes. Then before we know it, a fire is out of control, creating a blazing fire destroying the forest. This example may be slightly exaggerated, but I am sure we can find other measures to help us not “miss the point.”
The Little Red Hen first published in 1874, this folk tale teaches children the value of hard work and self-reliance. In the story, the little red hen finds a grain of wheat and asks the other barnyard animals “Who will help me plant the wheat?” The response “Not I” said the cat, “Not I” said the dog, “Not I” said the pig. So the Little Red Hen said “Then I will plant the seed myself” and she did.
As the pages reveal, the stages of the planting the seed to making the bread requires several steps (harvest, milling and baking the flour to make the bread). At each of the stages the hen asks the 3 animals for help in the process, and each time the animals reply with the same response “Not I” said the cat, “Not I” said the dog, “Not I” said the pig.
The final stage when the bread was baked, the hen asks, “Now, who will help me eat the bread?” The animals quickly responded with saying yes, I will. The hen looked at them and replied with “No, you did not help plant, harvest, mill, or bake the bread.” The Little Red Hen ate the bread and feed her chicks.
This is a favorite story from childhood, part of the Golden Book series and was a Walt Disney animated film, The Wise Little Hen (1938). As a child I would receive one of the Golden Books each month. The lessons in the books provided points for children to learn. The point to this book is a simple lesson of responsibility and also of helping others. “The fruit of your labor pays off, as you are able to eat with your hard work.” Are we teaching these lessons today or are we missing the point? What are the points we are receiving?
2 Thessalonians 3:10
Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
A little reflection on what we teach, preach, speak, and model to make sure we are not “missing the point” to help our children grow to develop the core values they need. When you scroll through the posts you can find individuals who believe money, status, power or any “thing” is what matters in life. Having more of it is what will make them happy.