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One Dollar for a Donut: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 by Becky Cerling Powers

There used to be a donut shop down the street from my friend Kathy’s house where her children liked to go to get a treat. One afternoon her two daughters asked her if they could go to the donut shop to buy a donut. Kathy looked in her purse. All she had was one dollar.

“Here’s a dollar,” she said, handing it to the girls. “You have an hour to get back before we have to run errands.”

This happened back in the 1990s when a dollar bought more than it does today. But even then a dollar was not enough to buy two good donuts. “That’s not enough money!” her children protested. “One donut costs 60 cents, and we each want a donut. We need $1.20.”

Opportunity knocks

“All I have is a dollar,” their mother said. “It’s a gift. Take it. Figure out a way to have a treat with one dollar.”

Her girls were upset, Kathy said. “They bickered, and they quarreled, and they dithered around until finally it was time for us to leave for running errands.”

If you don’t use it, you lose it

Kathy said she took the dollar back and told her daughters, “You need to learn to be grateful for what you have and use that. See what happened? You decided one thing you wanted, and then your mind was so fixed on that, that you wasted the opportunity you actually had.”

Gratitude multiplies opportunities

 “What you wanted was a fantasy.” Kathy told them. “What you wanted wasn’t possible. What you had in your hand was a dollar. You could have gone to the donut shop with that and had a pleasant walk and half a donut each. Sometimes when you’ve gone down there, they’re taking away the old trays of donuts and putting in fresh trays. Then they give you one of the old donuts free. That could have happened.

 “Anything might have happened. You could have had a fun adventure. Who knows what special thing could have happened on your walk?”

“What you wanted was a fantasy,” Kathy repeated. “The real thing was in your hand. And you missed it.”

Our children show us our own attitudes

“I do the same thing as my daughters,” Kathy said. “God gives me something, but my mind is so fixed on wanting some other particular thing, that I refuse to be blessed. I won’t be made happy. I’m too busy griping and complaining. I focus on what I want and ignore the real thing in my hand.”

St. Paul taught the early Christians:Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Today’s prayer

Lord, I want to become a thankful, contented child of yours. Jolt me today to recognize when I am complaining about what I don’t have instead of making good use of what I do have. And open my eyes today to all the good gifts you are giving me so I can thank You. Amen.

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