Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lent—A Time for Gratitude

A talented high-school soccer player was playing in his team's championship game. Suddenly he left the game, ran off the field and up a nearby hill—where one could see that a house was on fire. He ran into the house (it was his), up the stairs, and found his four-year-old brother. He rolled him in a mattress and dropped him out the window into the arms of some neighbors below. He had saved his brother.

But on his way out, he himself was struck by a falling beam. The firefighters arrived and were able to save his life, but he lost almost all his abilities—not only his sterling soccer skills, but also walking and even talking.

One day when his younger brother was about seventeen, a friend was visiting who witnessed the following scene: 

The younger brother asked his mom if he could attend a party that evening. His mother said, no, she and her husband had to go out and they needed him to stay home with his disabled brother.

The younger brother responded angrily, “What! I have to stay home with that vegetable!” 

The friend could see the older brother in his wheelchair in the living room. He saw tears roll down his cheek.

When I first heard this (true) story I was outraged. What an ingrate! That younger brother wouldn't even be alive if it weren't for his brother. His brother had risked everything, and lost everything but his life, out of love for his little brother. He should have been forever grateful to him and eager to do anything for him.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks that I am no better than that younger brother. While He's not as visible to me as someone sitting in the living room, haven't I treated Christ just the same way? 

I have—every time I've wimped out on a sacrifice for Him who did even more for me than that heroic young man did for his little brother.

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