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Old 04-16-2010, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,298 posts, read 20,952,684 times
Reputation: 9992

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This is a modern-day parable about salvation by a man named Stephen E. Robinson. I would just like to see what you all think of it.

One afternoon after work as I sat reading the newspaper, our oldest daughter, Sarah, who was then seven years old, came up to me and said, "Daddy, can I get a bike? I'm the only kid in our neighborhood who doesn't have a bike." I mumbled some kind of general and nonspecific assent, but Sarah lifted up the paper and looked me in the eye. "How, and when?" she asked.

Now it would not have been easy for us financially to buy Sarah a bicycle at that particular time, so I tried to stall her. "I'll tell you what, Sarah," I said. "You save all your pennies, and pretty soon you'll have enough for a bike."

"OK," she said, and she went away -- I was off the hook. A few weeks went by, and I was once again sitting in my chair after work, reading the newspaper. This time I was aware of Sarah doing some chore for her mother and being paid for it. Then she went into her bedroom, and I heard a sound like "clink, clink."

"Sarah, what are you doing?" I asked. She came out of her bedroom with a little jar in her hand. It had once been a maraschino cherry jar, but she had cleaned it up and cut a slot in the lid. On the bottom of the jar were a bunch of coins. Sarah showed me the jar and said, "You promised that if I saved all my pennies, pretty soon I'd have enough to get a bike. And Daddy, I've saved every single one!"

Well, she's my daughter, and I love her. I hadn't actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, eventually she would have enough for a bike. But by then, she would probably want a car. In the meantime, sweet little Sarah was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions, but her needs were still not being met. I was overwhelmed. "OK, Sarah," I said, "let's go downtown and look at bikes."

We went to every store in Williamsport. Finally, in one of the big discount stores, we found it: the Perfect Bicycle... From halfway across the store, she knew it was The One. She ran and jumped up on the bike and said, "Dad, this is it. This is just the one I want." She was thrilled.

Then she noticed the price tag hanging down between the handlebars, and with a smile, she reached down and turned it over. At first she just stared at it; then the smile disappeared. Her face clouded up, and she started to cry. "Oh Daddy," she said in despair, "I'll never have enough for a bicycle." It was her first bitter dose of adult reality.

The bike, as I recall, cost over one hundred dollars. It was hopelessly beyond her means. But because Sarah is my daughter, and I love her, I have an interest in her happiness. So I asked, "Sarah, how much money do you have?"

"Sixty-one cents," she answered forlornly.

"Then I'll tell you what, dear. Let's try a different arrangement. You give me everything you've got, the whole sixty-one cents, and a hug and a kiss, and this bike is yours."

Well, she's never been stupid. She gave me a big hug and a kiss and handed over the sixty-one cents. Then I had to drive home very slowly because she wouldn't get off the bike. She rode it home on the sidewalk (it was only a few blocks), and I drove along beside her. And as I drove, it occurred to me that this was a parable for the atonement of Christ.

You see, we all want something desperately, but it's not a bicycle. We want the kingdom of God. We want to go home to our Heavenly [Father] worthy and clean. But the horrible price -- perfect performance -- is hopelessly beyond our means. At some point in our spiritual progress, we realize what the full price of admission into that kingdom is, and we also realize that we cannot pay it. And then we despair…

But only at this point, when we finally realize our inability to perfect and save ourselves, when we finally realize our truly desperate situation here in mortality and our need to be saved from it by some outside intervention -- only then can we fully appreciate the One who comes to save.

At that point, the Savior steps in and says, "So you've done all you can, but it's not enough. Well, don't despair. I'll tell you what, let's try a different arrangement. How much do you have? How much can fairly be expected of you? You give me exactly that much (the whole sixty-one cents) and do all you can do, and I will provide the rest for now. You give me all you've got and a hug and a kiss (that is, make this a personal relationship), and the kingdom is yours! Perfection will still be our ultimate goal, but until you can get it on your own, I'll let you use mine. What do you say? You do everything you can do, and I'll do what you can't yet do. Between the two of us, we'll have it all covered. You will be one hundred percent justified."
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,387,655 times
Reputation: 437
That was beautiful.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:23 PM
 
5,500 posts, read 4,424,862 times
Reputation: 5148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
This is a modern-day parable about salvation by a man named Stephen E. Robinson. I would just like to see what you all think of it.

One afternoon after work as I sat reading the newspaper, our oldest daughter, Sarah, who was then seven years old, came up to me and said, "Daddy, can I get a bike? I'm the only kid in our neighborhood who doesn't have a bike." I mumbled some kind of general and nonspecific assent, but Sarah lifted up the paper and looked me in the eye. "How, and when?" she asked.

Now it would not have been easy for us financially to buy Sarah a bicycle at that particular time, so I tried to stall her. "I'll tell you what, Sarah," I said. "You save all your pennies, and pretty soon you'll have enough for a bike."

"OK," she said, and she went away -- I was off the hook. A few weeks went by, and I was once again sitting in my chair after work, reading the newspaper. This time I was aware of Sarah doing some chore for her mother and being paid for it. Then she went into her bedroom, and I heard a sound like "clink, clink."

"Sarah, what are you doing?" I asked. She came out of her bedroom with a little jar in her hand. It had once been a maraschino cherry jar, but she had cleaned it up and cut a slot in the lid. On the bottom of the jar were a bunch of coins. Sarah showed me the jar and said, "You promised that if I saved all my pennies, pretty soon I'd have enough to get a bike. And Daddy, I've saved every single one!"

Well, she's my daughter, and I love her. I hadn't actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, eventually she would have enough for a bike. But by then, she would probably want a car. In the meantime, sweet little Sarah was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions, but her needs were still not being met. I was overwhelmed. "OK, Sarah," I said, "let's go downtown and look at bikes."

We went to every store in Williamsport. Finally, in one of the big discount stores, we found it: the Perfect Bicycle... From halfway across the store, she knew it was The One. She ran and jumped up on the bike and said, "Dad, this is it. This is just the one I want." She was thrilled.

Then she noticed the price tag hanging down between the handlebars, and with a smile, she reached down and turned it over. At first she just stared at it; then the smile disappeared. Her face clouded up, and she started to cry. "Oh Daddy," she said in despair, "I'll never have enough for a bicycle." It was her first bitter dose of adult reality.

The bike, as I recall, cost over one hundred dollars. It was hopelessly beyond her means. But because Sarah is my daughter, and I love her, I have an interest in her happiness. So I asked, "Sarah, how much money do you have?"

"Sixty-one cents," she answered forlornly.

"Then I'll tell you what, dear. Let's try a different arrangement. You give me everything you've got, the whole sixty-one cents, and a hug and a kiss, and this bike is yours."

Well, she's never been stupid. She gave me a big hug and a kiss and handed over the sixty-one cents. Then I had to drive home very slowly because she wouldn't get off the bike. She rode it home on the sidewalk (it was only a few blocks), and I drove along beside her. And as I drove, it occurred to me that this was a parable for the atonement of Christ.

You see, we all want something desperately, but it's not a bicycle. We want the kingdom of God. We want to go home to our Heavenly [Father] worthy and clean. But the horrible price -- perfect performance -- is hopelessly beyond our means. At some point in our spiritual progress, we realize what the full price of admission into that kingdom is, and we also realize that we cannot pay it. And then we despair…

But only at this point, when we finally realize our inability to perfect and save ourselves, when we finally realize our truly desperate situation here in mortality and our need to be saved from it by some outside intervention -- only then can we fully appreciate the One who comes to save.

At that point, the Savior steps in and says, "So you've done all you can, but it's not enough. Well, don't despair. I'll tell you what, let's try a different arrangement. How much do you have? How much can fairly be expected of you? You give me exactly that much (the whole sixty-one cents) and do all you can do, and I will provide the rest for now. You give me all you've got and a hug and a kiss (that is, make this a personal relationship), and the kingdom is yours! Perfection will still be our ultimate goal, but until you can get it on your own, I'll let you use mine. What do you say? You do everything you can do, and I'll do what you can't yet do. Between the two of us, we'll have it all covered. You will be one hundred percent justified."
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,576,792 times
Reputation: 843
"Between the two of us we've got it covered"

Reminds me of the story where a flea was riding on an elephant's back as it crossed an old bridge, causing it to to wobble quite a bit. After crossing the flea got up in the elephant's ear and said "We really shook that bridge, didn't we?"

"Not to us O Lord, but to thy name be glory"
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,298 posts, read 20,952,684 times
Reputation: 9992
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
"Between the two of us we've got it covered"

Reminds me of the story where a flea was riding on an elephant's back as it crossed an old bridge, causing it to to wobble quite a bit. After crossing the flea got up in the elephant's ear and said "We really shook that bridge, didn't we?"

"Not to us O Lord, but to thy name be glory"
Along that line, I think it's significant that Christ expects us to give our all -- even if it's just sixty-one cents. That's how we show Him how much we appreciate what He did for us. It's also interesting to consider that He expects the same from each of us -- 100% of what we have to give. (I know that some people would say that He doesn't expect anything from us, but I disagree.)
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,576,792 times
Reputation: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Along that line, I think it's significant that Christ expects us to give our all --
I'll tell you what - His love was so great toward me (and so absolutely unmerited in any way, shape or form) I didn't know what else to do. "I" died that day and now there is only "us".
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