Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
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“Son, the next time the Lord gives you the desire of your heart, be generous with it. Share it around. You could have treated all your friends up the street to extra ice-cream, instead of stuffing it all away yourself. Selfishness doesn’t leave a very good taste in your mouth now, does it?”
I shook my head weakly, swishing down a mouthful of cleansing water. Why hadn’t I stopped eating that rotten ice-cream after the first three bowls? Now I never wanted to see an ice-cream again in my whole life!
I was so excited when today arrived. Sunday School picnic day, where they dish out free ice-cream. But you’re only allowed one free one. After that you have to pay and that money goes to a children’s orphanage. We never got any money for another one, because our family never has money for unnecessary things. Ice-cream doesn’t make the ‘necessary’ list. But for days I had practiced ‘the look’ in front of the mirror. The look my friend’s dog gets on his face when he sees you eating a sausage.
He puts his head to one side, and stares at the sausage, then lifts hang-dog eyes to yours with a, ‘Poor me, I haven’t eaten for 100 years,’ kind of a look. I had planned to use that look on my friends as they tucked into their extra ice-creams. I only wanted one lick. I even practiced that lick with my cricket ball. I made a mark on one side and then counted how many times I could get my tongue around that ball until I would have to swallow the accumulated, imaginary ice-cream before it fell off. I managed to get around that ball five times. Six, if I was especially careful. I reckon a giant lick of six ice-creams would be the equivalent of one whole one. But today I only managed to get two miserly licks before it was time to come home. Not fair! I really complained to God about that.
Then the most incredible thing happened. Like ‘WHOOPEE!’ incredible. My brothers were playing with friends and my parents left to have a cup of tea with cousins up the street. No sooner had they gone out the door than our Sunday School leader arrived with a box of left over ice-cream. He thought we might like to finish it off. Like to finish it off! The saliva was already dripping out of my mouth, and I hadn’t even opened the box yet. We didn’t have a refrigerator and so that ice-cream would have to be eaten up real fast. And there was only me here. Wow! It would be a real sin to let it all melt away, I thought. Of course I could’ve always call in the neighbor kids to help out. But then again…
The first mouthful was my downfall. This creamy boxful from heaven wasn’t going anywhere, except down my throat! I was going to eat it till it came out my ears. I hadn’t imagined it coming back out my mouth though. And definitely not tasting like yuk! My parents arrived home, to find me messing up the kitchen floor with the splash over from the bucket I had managed to grab, as the first tidal wave of ice-cream erupted.
I thought seeing God had answered my prayer, that it was all for me. But I should have shared it around. It would have paid everyone back for all those licks they have shared with me too. Boy, Dad’s right, selfishness sure leaves a bad taste. Like too much ice-cream!
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