Positive Inspirational Personal Growth Stories

The Long Walk

The Long Walk.jpg

In the midst of shopping, decorating, card writing, cooking and baking ... before you get frazzled and frayed in the days leading up to Christmas, I want to share an old story with you. In the telling, I pray you might allow it to influence your decisions and activities during the holidays.

Some time ago there was an American missionary living in a very remote, tiny African village. The young woman was a teacher who laboured alongside the natives.

One Christmas Eve a little boy from the missionary’s class proudly brought her a crudely wrapped gift. The teacher was quite surprised. This young boy was very poor. What could he possibly give? The teacher unwrapped the gift and found within the crumpled brown paper a beautiful, exquisite seashell.

The missionary, knowing the only place to find such shells was many rugged miles away, expressed her enthusiastic appreciation. 

‘My goodness,’ she told him, ‘you’ve travelled so far to bring me such a wonderful, lovely present!’

At first the little boy appeared surprised by her reaction, but his eyes quickly brightened and a wide smile crept across his small face. 

‘Oh, teacher,’ he explained, ‘Long walk part of gift.’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It might be tempting to believe what the marketers are trying to tell and sell us – that the ‘perfect’ gift will make for a perfect Christmas. Don’t believe it. As the little boy taught his teacher and reminds you and me, it’s not the gift that really matters – it’s the effort, thought and love behind the giving of the gift itself.

Even if you navigate these next few days with the right spirit and attitude befitting the celebration of the world’s greatest birthday, you might still find yourself worn out and weary. If you do, don’t despair. Just remember the heart-warming words of that little boy – words which I pray might echo down through the years . . . . ‘LONG WALK PART OF GIFT’

Written by Jim Daly of Focus on the Family
Many thanks to Sandi Pound from Florida USA for sharing this wonderful story

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