I’d like to share a short story I read recently. It is about a business man who received an early Christmas present from his older brother:
A few days before Christmas he decided to end work early. He left his office to drive home in his brand new car. When he got outside he saw a young teenager walking around his car admiring it. As he walked up to the car the kid said to him “Hey mister, is this your car?” He replied, “Why yes, it is! It was a Christmas present from my older brother.”
The kid’s eyes grew a little wider, and then he asked, “You mean it was a gift – you didn’t have to pay anything for it?” The man replied, “Yes it was a gift – I got it free.”
At that point the boy said, “Man, I wish….” And then his voice got quiet. The man finished the boy’s sentence in his head, thinking, “Yea, I bet you wish you had a brother like I have… I bet you wish you had this car…”
Then the teenager finished his sentence. “Man, I wish… I wish I could be a brother like that. I want to be a brother like that.”
The man was completely taken back. He asked the kid if he’d like to go for a ride? The boy jumped in quickly and they took off around the block. As they were driving the boy asked if the man would drive him to his house. The man thought, “Sure he wants to show off a little bit to his family.” The teenager jumped out of the car almost before it stopped in front of his home, and he ran inside. In a short moment, he came running out of the house carrying a younger boy – his crippled younger brother.
The teenager carried him right up to the car and said, “You see little brother, this is the car I was telling you about. One day, I’m going to buy you a car too, and we can drive to all the wonderful places I’ve told you about, I will make sure you get to see them.”
For the last thirty years, God has blessed me a lot. Way, way more than I deserve – in fact I deserve none of it. I can’t remember exactly when, but many years ago now, I woke up one morning and just realized that God was going to take care of me – I didn’t need to pray “God bless me.” So, I started praying, “God, help me be a blessing.” Life changed.
We read stories in the Bible like the Good Samaritan, and realize that yes Jesus is the Good Samaritan to us – He has compassion for us, He cares for us, He takes responsibility for us, He blesses and provides for us! But the other lesson in the story – the response that God wants us to have in reading it – is for us to say, “God, I want to be a neighbor like that.”
When we read of the Prodigal Son who returns to his father – maybe besides understanding that we have a Father in heaven that is watching for us, waiting to embrace us, cleanse us, and return us to the family – God wants us to respond by praying, “God help me be a father like that.”
Maybe when we read all the stories of Jesus, besides being encouraged of the Great and Awesome God that loves us and saved us – we should be moving towards acting like Him – doing in our world, those things that He did when He walked the earth – care more about others than we care for ourselves.
Don’t just be content and focused on the getting – get more concerned on the being – because we all can be “a brother like that!”