I guarantee you will remember this story of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.
But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about father," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!
When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had tears in his eyes as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled his food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son was playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when you are old and I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word were spoken, both of them knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family's table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with his family. And for some reason, neither the husband nor the wife seemed to care any longer when Grandfather's fork was dropped, or his milk spilled, or he soiled the tablecloth.
The moral of this story is we should not lock old relatives or sick people away from us because they are feeble and not in good health. Instead, as Christians we should be good examples to the rest of this world for God and His Son, Jesus. We should try to take care of our old and sick relatives and not lock them away in institutions because they cannot take care of themselves. These things are well stated in the early part of the Bible and in the New Testament, as examples to us. They are stated in Genesis, Chronicles, and even in the writings of Paul.
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow if you are born again with God and His Son, Jesus.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "true life of purpose for yourself with God and His Son, Jesus."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance to do the right thing.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to give something back that God has given you.
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on God, Jesus, your family, your friends, the needs of others, and doing the very best you can, happiness and God's comfort will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide to do something with an open heart and with God in mind, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have aches and pains, I don't have to be nasty or contentious to others.
I've learned that every day, you should take the time to pray to God and His Son, Jesus, and then you should reach out and help someone you know.
I've learned that people love that human touch, they love holding hands, they love a warm hug, and they love just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that God put me on this earth to teach me about Him and His kind and loving ways. Therefore, I should learn to be patient, kind, virtuous, and loving to the other people I meet and know. God put me here to show me I still have a lot to learn!
I know that God has angels looking over me everyday. Therefore, pass the things that are in this story on to your family, friends, and everyone you love.