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Today is a Gift

Several years ago, I took the girls to the park. They loved to play on the swings and on the playground. Miracle was just learning to play basketball, and we were watching some of the boys on the basketball court. One of the boys became angry at the others and yanked his ball out of the hands of one of the other boys and said, "If you aren't going to play it by the rules, than I will take my ball and go home!" And he did.

Leaving three other boys in the middle of the court with no ball, he got on his bike and just rode off.

My sweet young daughter looked at me and asked, "Mom, why did he do that? Doesn't he know that it is not very nice?" (In her world, rules were made with being 'nice' in mind.) I told her that sometimes people get angry with each other and make bad decisions. I then watched this young girl take her own basketball over to the boys and give it to them so that they could continue their game.

As I sat there, I thought about what I had seen that day. The impression came to me that we all have choices in our lives. We can't choose our yesterdays. We can't choose the events in the past that have hurt our hearts and our spirits. We can't choose to change something that already happened. But we can choose what we do from this moment on.

There is an old saying that explains, "Yesterday is the past, we can't change it. Tomorrow is the future, it hasn't happened yet. But today is a gift. That is why they call it 'The Present'."

We can decide right now who we will be. We can choose to change what needs to be changed. We can choose to be the type of person that we admire most of all. We can choose to be the son or daughter that our Heavenly Father needs us to be. We can choose to work together in His service, on His ball court.

Or, we can choose to take our ball and go home. Who do we want to serve? The choice is left to each one of us. One of my favorite scriptures expresses it better than I ever could:

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Joshua 24:15

by Patricia A. Pitterle

Today, I watched my son
Learning how to roller skate.
With independence and enthusiasm
He started forth, denying my help
For the opportunity of succeeding
All be himself.
I watched him start unsteadily on his way
And saw him end up in a heap on the ground.
He tried again and again
To succeed on his own.
Finally, with two skinned knees
And a scrape on one arm
He came to me.
"Mommy, will you hold my hand
So that the ground doesn't hurt so much?"
I took his hand and together
We learned how to work the wheels

Father, how many times
Has my independent spirit
Tried to go through this existence
On my own
And, like my son, I have ended up with
A skinned heart and a scraped soul?
How many times have I fallen
And ended up in a heap of utter despair?
Yet, when I come to You,
You dry my tears and clean my wounds
And You hold me in the hollow of Your hand
So that my trials don't hurt
Quite so much.
And together,
We go down the path of eternal life
And You teach me to work the wheels.


Pattyann is a busy mother of 11 crazy children (most of whom are finally grown!). Grandmother to eight wonderful grandchildren, and wife to one of the most amazing men on the planet! She lives in her beloved house in the woods and loves music, photography, and writing. Most of all she loves her Heavenly Father and enjoys writing about His influence in her life. You can find her on her blog at

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