Wednesday, February 26, 2003

The Gift

A friend sent this story to me just a few minutes ago and I wanted to share it with you:
    In a remote village in Central America, the word got out that one of the missionaries who had served their country for many years was about to return home for her remaining years. The nationals desired to honor her for her long service with a public time of appreciation. News of the event spread to all parts of the country where the missionary was well-known. One very old and poor man walked to the ceremony over mountainous terrain for four days to bring his gift to her. The gift consisted of two coconuts, but it was all he had. The missionary recognized the man as he was approaching. "Brother," she said, "I cannot believe that you would walk so far to present me with this gift." He responded: "The long walk is part of the gift."

In our modern, goal-driven world, we want to see the fruits of our efforts, the effect of our labor. We can easily think that the results of our actions--the successful stewardship campaign we led, the wagon we built, the science project we assisted in, the prayers we offered--are the important part. But each moment, each breath, each smile, each step is part of the gift; the gift we offer God, the gift we offer each other, the gift we offer ourselves. Let's live today joyfully! It's a gift we're always sharing. :) k

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