Once upon a time, there was a Thought Collector who started writing down her thoughts for others to read. Each week, the Thought Collector would write the word BLOG on her list of things to do, and each week she would collect her thoughts about something, often family or faith, and post them on the internet for whoever wanted to read them. On Monday, she would give little thought to writing because there was plenty of time and there were plenty of other tasks on the list. By Tuesday, the Thought Collector would sometimes have a topic idea thought up, but, knowing it was still early in the week and having commitments away from home that day, she would decide to write later. Most Wednesdays were spent doing and crossing off several listed tasks and, on occasion, sitting down to write some sentences. Few of those sentences ever made it into the finished blog posts. Still, beginning to write would result in finishing a post by Thursday or Friday.
The more times the Thought Collector succeeded in making a weekly blog post, the less likely she was to skip a week. Sometimes, though, it might be Saturday until she settled herself down and collected her thoughts into paragraphs for others to read. Sometimes, she would spend so many hours on a blog post that it would not be published until bedtime. Sometimes the Thought Collector would procrastinate with her writing, having decided that this was the day, thinking that morning would be the best time to write, then choosing to put some clothes in the washing machine, clean out the dishwasher, tidy up a cluttered room, tend to some plants, prepare materials for the next week’s visits to the First Graders’ classrooms, have lunch, maybe wait until evening, or tomorrow.
One Monday afternoon, the Thought Collector, who loved kids and liked teaching them how to be a Winner in Life, was talking with a group of youngsters about Good Sportsmanship. Some of the boys and girls were very interested, paid close attention, and had wise things to say about winning and losing. Some of the kids liked the first part when the dragon puppet was talking, but lost interest when they were asked to listen and vote on whether an action showed good sportsmanship or bad sportsmanship. Half of those inattentive boys and girls were having a lot of fun, talking and playing games with their friends.. The other half were not having fun at all, but were arguing and tattling on the the classmates who sat around them. The Thought Collector, who was wearing her Winners Walk Tall hat and a coach’s whistle, kept trying to get the kids to quiet down and participate in the lesson, but her efforts failed and she gave up.
She put her things away and tried to redeem the time by engaging the boys and girls in a different way. She tried song and dance. She tried asking them about their favorite Winners Walk Tall lessons. A few kids were willing to continue, but most were still very noisy. So she told them all to put their heads down on their desks and be quiet. Then she did something surprising. She told the kids that she comes to their classroom because she loves them. They knew that she was disappointed with their behavior, still she passionately expressed her love, looking them in the eye, telling the boys and girls that she thinks they are wonderful little people.
As the Thought Collector was leaving the school, she told herself that she had done her best. Later that day, she was walking with her husband at the mall, not thinking about the visit to the school, when God whispered to her heart that some of the kids needed to hear the words, “I love you.” Then He drew her attention to the sound of Whitney Houston’s voice on a jewelry store’s sound system, singing the words “I will always love you.” When she told her son about what happened at the mall , having shared her frustration about the classroom visit with him earlier, he revealed that he had realized the lesson had been altered from Good Sportsmanship to Love.
On Tuesday morning, the Thought Collector was sitting with her cup of coffee and her Bible, talking to God about all sorts of things, when His Holy Spirit turned the story of her time with the kids into a parable about the love of God, expressed through the words, life, and death of his son Jesus, words of love that are heard and welcomed by some, while others go on playing, fighting, making too much noise to hear the voice of their Creator. The Thought Collector knew that she should write that down, at least for herself, possibly for her readers. She didn’t do it on Tuesday or Wednesday. She waited to see if a different topic would come to mind. It didn’t happen on Thursday.
On Friday morning, while she was accomplishing many little tasks, intending to write eventually, knowing that she would be unable to BLOG on the weekend, still not certain that she should share the parable this week, the first sentence formed in her mind. “Once upon a time, there was a Thought Collector who started writing down her thoughts for others to read.”
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.