I have a friend that shared a story with me many years ago that has stuck in my heart and comes back to mind often...he calls it, "That sugar bowl thing"...
He was a young boy, with a tender heart and an angry father. One morning, he got up early and decided to fix himself a bowl of cereal. He discovered the sugar bowl was empty, and decided to do something wonderful to please his dad. Gingerly he climbed up and got into the cupboard. Carefully he took down the big bag of sugar.
Being a very young boy, he probably didn't notice the few grains of sugar that spilled on the counter. He DID notice the bowl was a bit over-flowing, so with his tender hands he patted down the sugar on the top of the bowl. Then he waited.
He waited for his father to awaken and enter the kitchen for his cup of morning coffee. He waited for his father to discover this wonderful thing he had done. He waited to hear "Thank you son," or "I'm proud of you"...he waited to see his father's approval.
Finally, his dad walked into the kitchen and the wait was over. But instead of his father bursting with pride, he erupted with rage. He was angry that a "mess" had been made, and that someone had put their handprints on top of the sugar bowl. The sweet young boy was punished for his efforts... A young boy's heart was broken that day, and now, some 30 plus years later, his kitchen is spotless...
How many times have you done something that you thought would be a wonderful surprise, only to end up being yelled at, or disappointing someone you tried to please? Better yet, how many times has someone done something special for you, but instead of being grateful for the effort, you got angry for one reason or another?-Delilah