I walked behind a young boy and his mother as she hurriedly half-drug him by the hand across the parking lot. His little feet were arched in his tennis shoes upon tippy toes as his mom held tightly to one of his hands as he held just as tightly to a baggy of gummy bears in his other hand. He managed to squirm from her grip just long enough to dig into his bag for a certain colored bear. The mom, at her wits’ end, yanked the boy’s arm from inside the bag. In doing so, several gummy bears fell to the ground between them and me.


“Let’s keep going. You have plenty in your bag,” the mom said to her child as she tried to walk him forward.


The boy refused to budge. He turned around and took steps back toward my direction. His eyes were full of tears and his nose was already beginning to run. I thought he was going to pick up all the fallen bears. I was wrong.


“This is my best one,” he told me proudly as he picked up the red gummy bear and walked back to his mother. The boy reached for her hand, and they carried on their way.


The young boy taught me a lesson: Never leave your best behind.


I tend to give so much of my time and energy that I wonder, now and then, if in giving so much to others and for other’s causes do I ever leave my best behind? Do I have anything left of my best self when I walk through the door of my own home? Or have I depleted my colorful baggy of energy, smiles, conversation, grace, silliness and compassion? Am I kinder, at times, to strangers than to my own family? Does my family get the fallen-on-the-ground version of me while others receive the fresh Tiffany?


Am I guilty of leaving my best behind and not asking God to give me discernment as to how to keep the most important things — the most important people — his most important purpose, my most important purpose? Do I ask God to preserve my spirit for my family at the end of the day… to expand my enthusiasm and my joy?


Do I?


God, thank you for always picking me up… even when I don’t deserve for you to come back for me. You tell your children, “These are my best ones. I died for each of you.”


Please forgive me if I have, at times, left the best of me behind. Please give me your enabling wisdom to help me manage my time and my energy to glorify you in a more fruitful way. I love you, Lord Jesus. Amen.


“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” — James 1:5, NIV.


SGLY, dear readers.


(Smile, God Loves You.)