Barang Sale Lesson

Recently, God taught me a lesson through my nine-year-old son. Our international school here in Papua hosts a biannual “barang” sale, which is like a yard sale. You can rent a table and sell your “stuff.” The local people love it because it’s a chance for them to shop around for Western things. Our youngest son, Ryan, a budding entrepreneur, decided that he wanted to give it a try. My husband and I spent time with Ryan helping him prepare.

The morning of the sale, when I asked Ryan if he had his wallet, he responded a bit pridefully, “Of course I do, Mom!” But, as we arrived at the school and set out his things, someone came to collect our fee. Ryan looked at me with big eyes as he realized he had forgotten his wallet at home. I was a little frustrated because of his attitude earlier, but we had a bit of time before the sale started, so I agreed to take him home and get his wallet since we lived nearby.

Linda and Ryan

We got home and Ryan grabbed his wallet. I decided to use the bathroom and get a drink. As I did, Ryan sat stewing on the couch. Finally, he burst out angrily, “Mom! We need to go RIGHT now!! YOU are going to make us late!!!”

I became angry. “Ryan,” I said loudly, “You are being SO ungrateful! After all your father and I have done to help you do this sale, and then I do YOU a favor by bringing you home to get your wallet and all you can do is yell at me because I am making you late? We have plenty of time to get back. That is SO ungrateful!”

On the way back to the school, I felt like the Lord said to me, “Linda, that’s what you do to me sometimes.” It made me realize there are times when I forget what God has done for me because I’m so focused on one little inconvenience He’s placed in my life. I can so easily lose sight of the big picture and be ungrateful for all of His blessings. I learned a lesson that day from my son!

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