Post 13 of 104
A small boy walks down a busy sidewalk hand in hand with his mother. Peering up he spoted a toy truck through the looking glass of the corner toy store. Smiling, he wriggles out of his mother’s soft hand and runs inside. When he finds the toy his smile widens to an ear to ear grin. The graying store owner notices the boy’s facination with the small item and approaches. Looking up at the stranger the child says, “I want this one, sir.” The elder’s beard in the spot where one would assume to find the corner of a smile twitches as he assesses the small man before him. Slowly stroking his long beard the man agrees saying, “You may have the toy if you so choose, but you must obey this rule, always treat this toy like the gift it is.” Agreeing eagerly, the boy took his new toy and returned home with his mother.
So excited to have this new plaything the boy followed the old man’s rule happily. Whenever the new toy was dirty he would clean it, when it was time to do something else he would put his cherry red car in it’s special spot by his bed. Many hours were spent where joyful laughter could be heard coming from the child’s play room. Sadly, one day the child grew board of his once so admired gift and forgot it outside. That night the rain fell heavily and the truck’s red paint was all but covered with brown mud. Alone, the toy sat in the yard for many days. When hanging laundry to dry, the mother with once soft hands found the dismissed and unloved toy. Picking it up, she recalled the day the boy had received the toy from the weary old man and the one rule he had set forth. Looking at the peeling and fading paint with dirt clinging to it she sighed. The boy had forgotten.
Walking inside the wise woman took the toy and cleaned it, patched the broken spots, and gave it a new coat of cherry red paint. After she had restored the car to its former glory, the wise woman called for her son to come. Bounding down the stairs leading to his playroom the boy, a little taller now, appeared in the doorway. Eyes landing on the forgotten toy laying on the table the child exclaimed, “My toy! You found it mother.” As he reached to retrieve the previously forgotten item, the woman snatched it from his reach. “No.” She said sternly “You no longer have the right to this gift.” Confused the boy looked up, the word why written in his frown. “Do you remember the one rule you were given when the graying man gave you this truck?” “No, mother.” The little man replied, confusion lighting his eyes. Sadness blooming in the corners of her eyes, the mother looked down at her son deciding what was to be done. If not learned now she feared this lesson would be lost. Walking to the harth, she placed the car next to a portrait featuring a younger, smiling family. Turning about, she spoke slowly, “When you can remember and follow the rule you agreed to so long ago, then you may claim what was once yours. Untill then, this gift is no longer yours to treasure, it belongs to the memory of that wise old man.” Saddened, the boy turned his back on the cherry red truck and walked away.
Now put yourself in this story, you are the child. The old man and wise woman represent God and the toy is the things or people we are blessed with. In life we are given many blessings and are only asked to do one thing in return, treat them like the gifts they are. Life can be complicated and busy and we forget about things or don’t realize their value untill it is too late.
When it comes to relationships with others, it can be easy to forget just how precious of a gift another soul in our lives is. We become complacent and forget to treat them like we just met or forget to stay in touch after life takes us down different roads. I have been on both sides of this pendilum. To be the one forgotten truly hurts and can cause self doubt while to forget someone and realize it too late causes a since of regret and questions of what if.
Let us as the saying goes:
Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.
And while we do this let us remember to treat all people and relationships as the gift that they are.