Lil asked me if I had any marbles she could borrow. I did. I had my special jar of marbles that had been my own since I was her age, so I took a few of them out and loaned them to her. I didn’t give her my favorite ones because I was fairly sure I might not get them back.
The following week, I found De, her brother, rolling my marbles under couches and furniture and down holes in floors, and I was glad I hadn’t loaned Lil anything of greater value to me because my distrust was warranted.
Nonetheless, I gave Lil and De another chance. They were going on a trip to see their family in Mexico, and so I thought it would be a nice thing for them to borrow my travel size Connect Four game for the long journey. They loved it! They began to playing it right away. I reminded Lil to take good care of it because I wanted it back with all of the pieces still there. Only ten minutes later, I heard all of the pieces hit the floor as De got upset at losing.
I was not happy, but what a perfect opportunity to show Lil and De how to treat things that belonged to others!
De began blaming his sister for the mess so vigorously that I knew for certain he did it. Finally, once he was able to listen, I asked him how he would feel if he loaned me his very favorite dinosaur book, and while I was borrowing it, I tore out some of the pages, and then gave it back to him. He thought fairly about it and said, “I would be mad, and think you needed to buy me a new Dino Data book…and maybe also give me a million dollars.”
“Yes, that is similar to how I feel about loaning you this game. And do you remember how you lost my marbles? I feel like that about them too. It isn’t that these things are worth a lot of money or anything, but they do mean something to me, and if you don’t take care of things of little value, how can I let you borrow things that are much more important and valuable to me?”
Do you ever think that that is how God deals with us? Sometimes he gives us gifts or talents that we are not using or treating properly. He may or may not take the things away, but he certainly won’t trust us with deeper things. I believe God had a lot more he wants to give to us, but how are we treating the things of lesser value that he has already given to us?
Will we be like the man given many talents in the parable who is given many? Or will we abuse what we have currently, and have what little we have taken away?
If we have been taking things God has given us for granted, the first good step is to do what De did when I confronted him on losing my marbles. He gave me two treasures of his to try to apologize—a dinosaur tooth and a cool rock he had found. We need to ask God for forgiveness for treating the stuff he has entrusted us with poorly, and then we begin to honor him by honoring the small things he has given us.
What things of value to God are you not treating as valuable…your gifts of math, speaking, teaching, or the arts?…your coworkers?…your job?…your children?…your spouse? Can we show our Heavenly Father that we value his blessings enough that he will entrust us with more?