Tackling him wasn’t really an option, though it did cross my mind. He is a newly-minted 5-year-old who weighs forty-ish pounds and I am a grown adult roughly the size of a Mini Cooper. He would have turned into a greasy spot and I would have been turned over to the police. It would have been a bad way to end a perfectly good birthday party.
The party was for my ugly brother’s son who avoided life-long tragedy by virtue of looking more like his mother. He is a good kid with big smile and a natural british accent. I’m not sure where the british accent came from because the rest of us sound like we are from Kornfield Kounty (bonus points for an obscure Hee Haw reference). It was a good party in spite of the smell and I enjoyed spending time with family. It wasn’t until the end when he was opening his presents that I entertained the possibility of making like Ray Lewis gone rabid. This was when my wife told me that she may have accidentally put a $100 bill in the card that we gave him instead of the far less substantial amount that we had planned on.
My wife walked up to me with wide eyes to share this important bit of information with me when my nephew began opening his gift-opening marathon. My stomach immediately began to ache and it wasn’t because of the birthday cake that I had just eaten with reckless abandon. Since I have never tasted alcohol I have never been able to drink anyone under the table, but I can birthday-cake-eat anyone under the table. The reason for my digestive tract pain was because I knew that we could not afford to give him that much money and I wasn’t sure how to retrieve it if we did.
What was I going to do if he opened the card we gave him and found $100? My first thought, after quickly dismissing the idea of tackling him, was that maybe he wouldn’t make a big deal out of any money he would receive and quietly hand it to my sister-in-law who would no doubt know that we had made a mistake. This notion vanished as I saw him open other cards, pull money out, and wave it around while the other kids yelled “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!” My second thought was to let him just keep it, but then we wouldn’t have enough money this week for important things like food, gas, or to give my kids money from the tooth fairy (they have been losing more teeth recently than an MMA fighter with a meth addiction).
I finally came to the conclusion that if there really was a $100 bill in the card that we gave him that I would have to suck it up, admit our mistake, and ask for it back. It would be embarrassing and I would feel pretty crummy, but I would have to endure.
After opening up all of his other gifts, he finally came to the card we had gotten him. As he slowly opened the envelope, I said a prayer that he would pull out the fifteen dollars we had allotted and not a big ‘ol Benjamin. I think that I let out an audible sigh when I saw that I had worried for nothing. My wife had not made a mistake and I would not have to beg for forgiveness. We gave him the right gift, exactly what we wanted him to have.
This is also what God gives us–exactly what he wants us to have.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
It seemed like my nephew liked every thing that he received, even the small amount of money that we gave him. Sadly, the same can not be said for how I respond to every gift given to me by God. Sometimes I want something more. Sometimes I want something different. Sometimes I want what he gave someone else.
I need to remember that God gives me exactly what he wants me to have, that he makes no errors, that he is good and so are the gifts that he gives.
Maybe I should get someone to tackle me the next time I appear ungrateful for what God provides.
(Have you ever worried while watching someone open a present you gave? Have you ever been disappointed by what God gave you? Share away!)