Coming home from school one day, Sammy noticed that Mrs. Johnson, his neighbor, was trying to get her newspaper from off the top of her camellia bush. He asked his friend, Jeff, to help boost him up so he could get it down for her. Jeff said he didn’t want to because he was in a hurry to go home. So Sammy climbed onto the porch rail and got the newspaper down by himself.
About two weeks after that, Sammy’s mother told him that Mrs. Johnson was going to be moving away. Before she moved she wanted to give a neighborhood party.
On the day of the party, almost all the neighbors were at Mrs. Johnson’s house. After they visited for a while she asked them to be very quiet because she had something important to say. “At most parties,” she said, “there is usually a special guest. Cake, presents, and especially friends are a welcome treat for that person. Well, I want to thank all of you for being good friends and neighbors to me. But today I want to honor a young man who has treated me extra special for a long time.
“He has been a great help to me,” continued Mrs. Johnson. “When I needed him to do errands for me, he always said yes. On hot summer days he often brought cold lemonade over to my house. When I was sick he would visit me. And just the other day he saw another little thing he could do – get my newspaper off the top of a bush.” She smiled at Sammy. “These may not sound like much to some people but they were a great help to me.”
Sammy blushed. He said, “I was just doing what Jesus said to do—help others. I really didn’t do much.”
“Yes you did, Sammy,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Whatever you do for others really counts. And because you have been so good to me I want to give you a gift. It will make me happy.” She handed him a gift-wrapped package. Then she said, “Okay, everybody, it’s time for some cake and ice cream. Help yourself.”
While everyone was eating and visiting, Jeff came to Sammy and said, “I don’t think Mrs. Johnson was very fair. We were always together, so why didn’t I get a gift too?”
Behind them, Mrs. Johnson spoke, “Jeff, you were with Sammy a lot but you never helped him to help me. You always made an excuse to do something else.
“Jesus said that whatever you do for other people you are really doing for Him. Sammy has helped me and made me happy, so he has made Jesus happy too. Someday Sammy will receive a reward in Heaven because he has chosen to do what Jesus wants him to do. What will you do, Jeff?”
Our lesson focuses on the thought that we choose where we will spend eternity by what we choose to do here on earth. As you talk this over with your child, begin by discussing some of the choices he makes every day.
You might find it interesting to prepare a chart which would outline some of the things about which he makes decisions. Then let him circle in red the choices he makes. Write down such things as: Will I wear a red shirt or my blue plaid? Will I eat a peanut butter sandwich or a tuna sandwich? Will I color a picture or play with my Lego blocks?
Develop this concept by talking about behavioral choices. If we choose to do what God says is right, we are making the right choice for eternity.