Recently we were at my family’s 5th annual ranch reunion (better known as F.A.R.R.). In the last couple of years they have started an auction as a way to help raise money for the yearly celebration. Each family brings some items to contribute and this year my kids and I made 5 mini marshmallow shooters. My kids already had their own and brought them along to get in on the marshmallow wars that were sure to happen after their cousins took ownership of the new ones. I reminded them before the auction started that theirs were in the car and that there was no need to try to bid to get another one. Despite these efforts, when the last one was up on the block my 6-year-old was holding his money in the air determined to be the highest bidder…it worked. He was now the proud owner of 2 marshmallow guns. Being the cheap mom that I am and knowing that my son just spent all the money he had on something that he certainly didn’t need frustrated me. He handed over his money, retrieved his gun, and walked right over to his cousin and handed it to him. Guilt washed over me!
When I got a minute to talk to him I asked him about his purchase. He told me that he had watched his cousin try to get the first 4 guns and was out bid every time. He knew that he was not going to have enough money to win the last one so he was going to win it for him. I asked him if he was disappointed that he didn’t get anything and he looked up at me like I was crazy. He assured me that he didn’t need anything and that he just wanted his cousin to be happy.
Wow! I don’t know where he learned to be so selfless…it certainly was not from me. As I pondered his act of kindness over the next couple of days I realized how much I need to learn about serving others. I know in my mind that I should not be so worried about what I want, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty I am not convinced that I am willing to give up what I want in order to give someone what they want. Some might argue that my son is the kind of person that will end up getting walked all over in his life, and that might be true, but I can’t think of a single good argument to try to convince him that he should have done anything different. He didn’t have any money left to buy anything but he wasn’t even concerned about that…I don’t think it even crossed his mind.
1 Corinthians 10:24 says, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” I always say that I must live my life to be an example to my children…in this case I think it is the other way around!