Preferences – Good News for April 14

14 04 2010

John 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

The Daily Path: One day a little boy and his mother visited a local church to drop off some items for a school clothing drive. In the middle of the church campus was a stone courtyard with a large fountain. The boy loved fountains and immediately ran to look inside the shallow pool while his mother walked towards the area where gently worn clothing was being collected for the needy.

The boy discovered that the fountain was filled with many coins that other visitors had tossed into the water. One coin in particular caught his attention as it glimmered on the bottom. The  shiny silver quarter stood out from the other dull pieces. Despite his mother’s warning to stay out of the fountain, he climbed up onto the side and reached into the water as far as his arm would allow. His fingers wiggled and stretched to their limit as he finally grasped the prize.

Pleased at his accomplishment, the boy held up his damp treasure and admired it for a few moments. Then he noticed his mother had completed her business and was walking back his way. The lad quickly shoved the quarter into the front pocket of his denim pants and ran towards the black asphalt lot where their mini-van was parked.

During the drive home, the boy retrieved the quarter from its hiding place. Again he held it up, pinched between his thumb and index finger, to examine the detail of the coin. Looking at her son in her rear view mirror, the woman noticed the quarter in his hand. She asked where he got the silver piece. The boy remained silent. His mother repeated the question. “I don’t know,” he finally responded.

Knowing that he had no money prior to the errand, she pressed the matter, demanding an answer to her query. The boy knew he had done wrong and just wanted to run away and hide forever. As the questioning was repeated, this time with greater emphasis, it was evident that he would get into deeper trouble if he revealed the truth. The little boy began to cry. He couldn’t answer any further as his sobbing grew uncontrollable.

His mother pulled off the road and parked the vehicle. Getting out of the van she opened the side door and climbed into the seat next to the boy. The boy knew that the end was near. Surely severe consequences were just an instant away. Instead, the boy’s mother reached over and held his hand in hers. She gently asked him to calm down and stop crying.

Finally the tears stopped. The sobbing turned to whimpers. Gradually the boy regained his composure. His mother put her arm around him and again asked where he had found the quarter.

In his mother’s arms the boy felt safe. He was no longer afraid. The boy revealed how the coin came into his possession.

After discussing the matter, it was decided that they should drive back to the church and return the coin to the church. The boy felt better having told his mother. And even though he was going to return the quarter directly to the pastor, he was happy to no longer have to hide the coin or bear the burden of his actions.

Why do we choose to linger in the darkness when the light always feels so much better?



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