PICTURE PAGES AND ICE CREAM CONES

by David Sisler

If you were five years old and you had to choose between an ice cream cone or Picture Pages which would you choose? One more thing, your twin brother has enough money to buy both!

I think back almost twenty years ago, to a small family crisis. It started innocently enough. Our twin sons, Michael and Matthew, had lost their first baby teeth. Mike, the oldest by four minutes, lost one first and during the night a little tooth hidden under a pillow was mysteriously transformed into $1.00. In the morning he announced that he was saving his "tooth money" to buy an ice cream cone.

All was well until brother Matt lost two teeth at once and woke to find $2.00 under his pillow. Of course, he, too, was going to buy an ice cream cone, but with the additional dollar, he could order Picture Pages.

Small aside: If you have a child who is approaching 25 today, you may remember Picture Pages. It was an activity sheet first introduced by Captain Kangaroo, later performed by Bill Cosby on Nickelodeon. The best part was receiving your own set in the mail and then working the various educational challenges with the TV host.

Mike was brokenhearted. As I dried his tears I explained, "Son, you only have one dollar so you can buy only one thing. An ice cream cone is nice, but it will be gone in a moment. Now, Picture Pages, on the other hand, will come in the mail and there are six weekly issues, and they'll last a long time. Understanding that, which one will you buy?"

Through all of this Mike nodded with a comprehension beyond his tender years. Proudly I waited for the announcement born of my explanation and his youthful wisdom. With a smile that exposed the toothless gap, he declared, "An ice cream cone!"

We go through life with a God-given gift our eternal souls, and like Mike, we must make a choice. We can choose the attraction of the immediate, which the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews said is pleasurable, but only briefly (Hebrews 11:25), or we can choose the promise of the everlasting a faith commitment to Jesus Christ that guarantees an eternal future.

Sure, Mike made the wrong choice but then he was only five years old and his brother did have $2.00!

Concerning eternal life, have you chosen Jesus? If not, what is your excuse?

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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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