My Favorite Christmas Present

One of the down-sides to being a starving college student is that, well, one tends not to have a lot of excess money for Christmas presents.

As Daniel was finishing his first semester at Calvary Chapel Bible College, I received an expected phone call.

Daniel: “So, Dad, I’m ready to come home. I seem to remember that you offered to pay my gas … ”

Me: “Yes, I pay for Joshua and Rachel to fly home for Christmas and the summer, I guess I might as well pay for you. You’re bringing your car home, right?”

Daniel: “Yeah. I have another guy sharing the ride with me, so he can help with the gas.”

Me: “No problem. I’ll put the money in your account.”

Daniel: “Along those lines … I don’t really have any money for Christmas presents. What should I do?”

Me: “Well, I can’t speak for the rest of the family, but I can tell you what I would really like for Christmas.”

Daniel: “What’s that?”

Me: “I’d like a framed copy of your grades.”

There was a long pause. Then Daniel cut the conversation short, and hung up soon thereafter. I wasn’t sure how to take that. “I wonder if his grades are not-so-good?” I worried.

Daniel and I have a deal. If he gets an A in a class, I’ll pay half the tuition for next semester for that many credits, and (if he gets all A’s) I’ll make sure he gets back to school, even if I have to loan him the other half of tuition. His school has very low tuition, but I want Daniel to have some ‘skin in the game’ in terms of ownership of his education.

I’ve been praying for Daniel to do well at Calvary Chapel, and I’ve enlisted the prayers of several others as well. It seemed such an obvious answer to prayer, back in the Spring; Daniel had been floundering, without vision or purpose, and I was rapidly running out of patience. Then, suddenly, he was accepted to CCBC, and everything changed for the better. As you can imagine, I’m eager for him to be able to go back for the Spring semester, when he has grown so much in the Fall.

Everything changed, but don't worry, Daniel is still able to be goofy on demand, as in this picture.

Everything changed, but don’t worry, Daniel is still able to be goofy on demand, as in this picture.

It has been a lot of fun to hear Daniel quote from the book of James — to see that, through careful and diligent study, he has made that book his own in a special way. I am so excited to see his love for the Word of God grow, and to notice significant changes in his character.

On Christmas, I opened a number of presents, many of them very fun and interesting, but none quite so greatly enjoyed as this one:

I'm so proud of Daniel for getting A's in all his subjects!

I’m so proud of Daniel for getting A’s in all his subjects!

Project 365, Day 360

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