Originally posted in BobbyQuitain.Com. Written for Christmas, but its message rings true, even for Valentines, so I’m reprinting this.
by Bobby Quitain
Here’s a delightful story that illustrates the importance of knowing the value of a gift…
Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers. One evening, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the 95th birthday gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who moved to Florida …
The first said, “You know I had a big house built for Mama.”
The second said, “And I had a large theater built in the house.”
The third said, “And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.”
The fourth said, “You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot who could recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers almost 8 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”
The other brothers were impressed.
After the celebration Mama sent out her “Thank You” notes.
She wrote: “Milton , the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.”
“Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home; I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks.”
“Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound and it can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing, and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.”
“Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you so much.”
Just like the mother in the story, many of us obviously do not see the value of the greatest gift given to us on Christmas Day. Worse, for many of us, we may know the value of the gift but we choose not to care.
No wonder the man in red tights riding on his sleigh rather than the baby in swaddling clothes sleeping on a manger is taking center stage on Christmas Day .
Today, I invite you to pray for a renewed appreciation of what I call the “Gift of All Gifts” — God becoming man for you and me.
It is sad for a mother to mistook a precious parrot for an ordinary chicken. But it will be a great tragedy if we mistook the precious gift of a Savior for a mere holidays with the family.