“I don’t like oatmeal,” exclaimed Jack, looking at his mother.
“And I don’t like prunes,” added Jean daringly, as both children knew they were not allowed to complain about their food.
But this time their mother only smiled and said, “Your heavenly Father gives you prunes and oatmeal to enjoy.”
“How do you know He wants us to enjoy them?” asked Jack, who always wanted to know the reason for everything. “It doesn’t say anything about our eating prunes or oatmeal in the Bible.”
“No, the Bible doesn’t mention them,” answered his mother. “But it says He gives us ‘all things richly to enjoy.’ And since the food He provides is part of all things, then we ought to really like them. You like candy and ice cream, don’t you? Think how nice it would be to enjoy everything you eat as much as you enjoy them.”
“It surely would be nice,” said Jean.
“I like oatmeal better already. Let us see how many things we can find today to enjoy that we didn’t like before,” suggested Jack.
“I’d love to,” replied Jean who almost always agreed with her brother’s plans. He was two years older than she was, and she considered him very wise.
“An excellent plan,” said their mother. “You’ll want to make a list of them, for you’ll find a great many things if you try hard enough. You can put them in this box,” she called as she placed a small covered box on the sideboard.
Several times during the day Jack and Jean put slips of paper into the little box. At bedtime their mother opened the box.
“Let’s read Jean’s first,” suggested Jack as he stood on the side of his mother’s chair and Jean on the other.
“Jean likes spinach, dusting the chairs, and doesn’t mind so much if Lois brings her little brother to play. Fine!” said Mother approvingly as she took up Jack’s slips.
“Jack likes cabbage better, pulling weeds, sweeping the walk, and picking up his clothes.”
“Excellent,” said Mother, “and now aren’t you glad that God gives us everything to enjoy?”
“I certainly am,” said Jean. “Let’s play this game every day, Jack.” “Let’s do,” said Jack. “We can have much more fun if we learn to enjoy all of God’s good gifts.”