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09 February 2017


The box wrapped in shiny paper attracted their attention immediately- not even the sparkling pink deterred the interest of the crowd of mostly boys.
"Who wants this gift?" Mario asked, the gift held above his head.
They all clamored and tried to grab it. "Me!" "Me!"
We divided into two teams and separated to opposite sides of the yard. Mario set the box in the center and issued the challenge. "You have to figure out how to get the present without touching the ground."
"Let's get rocks to walk on," I suggested, and my eager boys ran to dig up the bricks bordering the flower beds.
"No! No!" Mario shook his finger at us. "The rocks are touching the ground."
The boys looked for branches to cast at the box, or a rope to lasso the box, or a net to drag the box. We had nothing.
Time running out quickly and the box still untouched, I suggested, "Why don't you just ASK Mario for the gift?"
"Mario! Mario! Can we please have the gift?"
Mario smiles.
"Yes. All you have to do is ask."
The boys know, I know, that you can't earn a gift. You can't work for a gift. It is simply given to you for free. But also, I remember, on my own, I don't even know to ask. I have to be prompted.
And so, thankfully, the Spirit persuades us.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)

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