Somewhere along the way, I picked up a little story about a Sunday School teacher’s efforts to win one of her young students to Christ. I doubt that the story actually happened, but maybe it did. Even if it didn’t, it still makes an important point. Here’s the story.
When young Mary’s Sunday School teacher talked to her about becoming a Christian, Mary answered, “No, I don’t want to become a Christian right now.” The teacher asked, “Is there something that is preventing you from doing it right now?” Mary said, “It’s because I’m still young and want to have a good time. When I get old and settled down in life, then I’ll become a Christian.”
Several days later, Mary received a box of roses from the teacher. Mary opened the box excitedly, but her excitement soon turned to disappointment when she found that the roses were all wilted. Attempting to lift them from the box, she watched as most of their petals fell off and remained in the box.
As she stood there looking at all those dead roses, Mary became angry. She thought, “My teacher shouldn’t be sending me old, wilted roses.” Later on, however, she decided to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt by believing that the flowers had been ordered several days earlier and were supposed to have been delivered promptly. There must have been a mix up with the florist.
But that afternoon the teacher came to Mary’s house and asked her, “Did you receive the roses I sent you today?” Somewhat astonished, Mary replied, “Oh, then you did send them today. Why did you send me old, wilted roses?” The teacher said, “I did it because I thought that was the kind of gift you like.” Mary asked, “What made you think such a thing?” “Because,” said the teacher, “when I asked you to believe in Jesus as your Savior you said you would wait until you were old.”
Mary was silent for a moment but then her face lightened. She said, “Oh, I get it now. It’s wrong for me to wait until I’m old and wilted to give myself to Jesus. I should believe in Him as Savior right now and devote the rest of my life to living for Him.” “Yes,” said the teacher, “that’s the lesson I was trying to teach you by sending you those flowers.” And right then and there Mary did believe in Jesus as her personal Savior and spent the rest of her life serving Him.
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, N.K.J.V.)