“I want a balloon! I want a balloon!” the kids all jumped and laughed as they stretched out their arms.
“The balloons are for Papa, kids. It’s his 75th birthday today! We are blowing up all these balloons. After we have cake and ice cream at his birthday party, everyone will get lots of balloons and we will let them go up in the air! Can you count them? There are 75 balloons, one for each year of Papa’s life!”
“When we let them go, they will go up in the air and eventually land somewhere far away. If anyone sees them, they will know something special is happening. They will know we have had a wonderful celebration!”
“But I wanna balloon now!” cried the littlest one. They all chimed in with her “I wanna balloon now too!”
“It’s time for cake and ice cream right now! Everyone go and wash up! We are going to sing Happy Birthday to Papa!”
Birthday cake demolished, the kids begin to ask for the balloons! “Is it time? Can we have our balloons now? Can we let them go up in the air now? I want the red ones! I want the blue ones!”
“Alright, let’s go outside! It’s time!” their aunt tells them patiently. “Everyone will get lots of balloons. Don’t worry.”
Outside, the children have their hands full of balloons floating above their heads. The smallest one, Megan, not quite two years old, only has one balloon. Letting her balloon go, she gazes up into the sky to watch it fly away and begins to cry hysterically.
Nothing will console her. She didn’t quite understand why she had a balloon and had to let it go. She didn’t know it was going to fly away. She wanted to play with it. Tears streamed down her puffy red face and she wanted her balloon back.
“I think we have some extra balloons,” her aunt said. “I will get one for her.”
With her replacement balloon in hand, Megan was satisfied and held onto her new balloon tightly. She was not going to let it go. No one else could have it. If anyone came near it, she began to cry all over again.
After a while, Megan became distracted by all the other children playing around her, and she forgot about the prized balloon in her tight grip. As she ran to play with her cousins, the balloon flew from her hands without her even noticing. Its importance had faded from her mind.
How like this small child we can be! Our Savior has given us a prized possession along with instructions to spread it to others. Let it go! Let it fly away so that others can see and hear and taste that the Lord is good! Let them know about the celebration of Life He brings!
But, like this small child with her balloon, we can hold onto it for ourselves, never sharing this wonderful prize with anyone. Could we be unaware that others need salvation? Are we so focused on our own lives that we don’t see others desperate need?
Maybe we too become distracted by the ‘play’ of others around us and forget that we even possess this unimaginable treasure! Has it lost its importance to us?
People are crying out for something to soothe and heal their hearts and minds. His gift of salvation is for everyone! Let’s be sure to release it to the world!
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