A Dollar Or A Cent

Last night my two young nephews were staying at our house. After dinner (and ice cream!) my youngest nephew decided he would rather go back home to sleep in his own bed. As I was driving him back toward his house, we had a fascinating conversation.

Fascinating for me because of the sincere simplicity of his young mind. He sees the world so innocently, and yet so sincerely as well. It reminded me of… me.

When I was a kid, my Grandfather offered me my choice of a dollar bill or a single penny. Without any hesitation, I chose the penny. “Why do you want just one penny,” my Grandfather asked, “Don’t you know that a dollar is worth 100 pennies?”

“Yes,” I replied in all my 3-year-old wisdom, “But you can’t put a dollar in a gumball machine.”

I robbed myself of a greater blessing because of my innocent simplicity. I saw only the immediate gain and not the greater blessing. I might have to go through an extra step to exchange the dollar for 100 pennies, but wouldn’t the effort be worth it?

Here’s what C.S. Lewis said:

“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Are you too easily pleased? Can you believe God for greater blessings? You might have to give up the immediate gain, but won’t it be worth it to trade mud pies in a slum for a holiday at the sea? Don’t settle for a single penny, when there are immeasurable treasures waiting for you!

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