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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Is This All?!

When I was a child, one Christmas, my father gave to each of his sons a very special gift. He must have spent hours in his workshop, fashioning with his hands the three wooden trucks. He was a skilled carpenter and somewhat of a perfectionist, so I know those trucks represented fine workmanship. They were freshly painted, finely sanded, and the only part of them not handmade, with tender loving care, were the shiny store-bought tires that adorned them.

Christmas was never a time for getting lots of gifts around my house, but we children spent literally hours looking over the Sears and Wards catalogues, dreaming and picking out the "toys" we wanted. We never got much, but we always wanted everything. There were the Red Rider rifles, the electric trains, the Have Gun Will Travel black hats and vest, and parlor games. So you can imagine how when we rushed to the tree on Christmas morning to find the three wooden trucks, our eyes and voices filled with disappointment. "Is this all?" I finally said.

Later that day an aunt arrived with a store-bought toy that my brothers and I had to share. We showed more excitement over and even fought over possession of that store-bought  toy. I think I can safely say that our disappointment over the trucks was nothing compared to the disappointment my father must have felt as he watched our unappreciative reactions to his gifts of love. How it must have hurt him to see us fight  over a toy  that cost only a few dollars while his precious gifts remained untouched. How I wish  I knew where  those wooden trucks were today! Their value to me has increased a thousand fold.

One wonders how God must feel when he sees us fighting over the garbage of worldly things and remain unappreciative of his wonderful gifts. How must he feel when he gives us freedom, grace, salvation, and hope and we look at him and say, "Is that all?" How disappointed and hurt he must be when we leave the gifts of love that his skillful hands have wrought, to seek the gaudy, tinselled  products of a Sears and Wards world.

by Hugh Forehand
Bulletin of the Smithville church of Christ