I’m sure you are aware of the phrase Sharing is Caring! The question may be asked does our ability to share come from the character that is formed within us or are we taught by example to share and care within the family and that is reflective of the culture and traditions we live in?
Recently I was in the company of a loving Grandad talking tenderly to his grandson and complementing him on successfully completing a particular task and affirming him as a big boy. The grandson paused and looked up to his Grandad and calmly replied “I’m not a big boy, I’m a small boy.”
The Grandad initially did not know how to respond but acknowledged what had been said and gently replied “yes, you’re a very special small boy.” The grandson was happy with the response and both continued to enjoy the rest of the day’s activities together.
Last week I spent time with my eldest Grandson Oscar and we agreed that making some bread together, with the help of a bread maker, would be a good thing. We followed the recipe and added the flour, sugar, salt, butter, water and yeast. Occasionally I have forgotten to add the yeast and we all know what the outcome would have been! Rejection! Then the dough thrown straight into the bin and we then go back to adding ingredients again according to the instructions!
The timer was set and then we waited for the dough to be ready, proved and then cut into eight buns ready to go into a hot oven. I congratulated Oscar, remembering the words I had heard about the big and small boy previously and when the bread buns had been baked and cooled we sat down to eat the bread in our own way and then shared the rest with the family. One of my favourite’s ways is to eat a freshly baked sandwich with best butter and a slice of mackerel on it. My perfect small loaf and half a fish!
A story is told about a boy, whose age we are not informed of, being out and about with a certain amount of food in his possession. When a baby is weaned after about six months, it begins to eat solid food, crawl, walk and gradually grow into a toddler and then into an older girl or boy.
The ages when a boy or girl becomes a man and woman will vary from one culture to another and what responsibilities they are given. In certain cultures a boy would be recognised around the age of 13 just before his bar/mitzvah and then a man from the age of 14 – 15 and then fully aged 18. For a girl it would be before her bat/mitzvah about 12 and then considered a woman from the age of 12 – 13 and then fully 16.
As the boy travelled, a large crowd had formed in close proximity to him and one of the teachers and leaders attached to the crowd came over to him. They began to engage in a conversation with the outcome being that the boy gave the food to the leader knowing that it would help, in a small way, the large crowds that continued to gather.
The story does not detail what happened to the boy after that encounter! Did he stay to observe how his food was to be used? He might have been in a hurry while travelling and so didn’t stop but continued on his journey to later explain to his parents or employer what had happened to the food? It may be possible that the boy had been given a generous amount of money to cover his costs which would help him to explain the loss of the food. He may have been congratulated on completing a successful deal and even being called a ‘good boy’!
In dwelling on this story I have considered a few things that are worth thinking and acting upon.
- Identify your gifts and abilities as represented in the food the boy was carrying?
Often we are not fully aware of our talents and haven’t had the opportunity to develop them. It is true that so often we hold on to those abilities we are comfortable with and are not willing to take a risk in trying new experiences which might give opportunities for latent gifts to emerge.
- As you develop your gifts and abilities are you willing to use and share them?
Some of us are very happy to share our gifts and abilities because we care and are confident that in sharing we will gain from it in unexpected ways that we would not be fully aware of? Many feel that if we share that which we have we may lose something valuable and be taken advantage of. However, if we do not use and share what we have we will eventually lose them!
- Are you confident that your talents are valued without knowing there impact?
It is wonderful to see people confidently and without fear sharing their gifts and food with a generous spirit. As we share we know that in a special way they will be a blessing, encouragement and source of nourishment to those in receipt of them.
I’m sure you have sussed out by now that that story of the boy and the food he was carrying relates to the miraculous feeding of the five thousand as found in John 6: 1- 13.
The young boy is known and famous worldwide but in the story only plays a small part. He would have never known the importance of that exchange of food that included loaves and fishes.
He also would not have been aware that such a seemingly insignificant sharing of his food would go on to feed thousands upon thousands of people on the day. It’s an amazing example of the fact that we should never minimise the day of small actions that can grow into large and very influential consequences.
What is our take away?
- Recognise the latent and up front gifts that you have and use them as your loaves and fishes.
- Be prepared to share your gifts and abilities as an exchange for income, leisure and pure enjoyment trusting that they may grow and be maximised beyond our wildest dreams whether we are aware of it or not.
- Be confident in using your loaves and fishes quietly or loudly and happy to explain fully their use as a current investment or ones for the long term.
Enjoy this fun Kids Learning Song to brighten up your day and remember Sharing is Caring.
Selah (pause to think calmly on what has just been read)
“Encouragement for Daily Living” exploretoinspire.uk