Pumpkin Learns Patience – Ecclesiastes 7:8

Learning Patience – A Children’s Story Based on Ecclesiastes 7:8

Hi, my name is Percival Darsubius Klobheimer. I’m named after my great great great grandfather. I’ve been told he was a pirate or something just as dangerous like a refrigerator salesman. I always forget which one.

But my real name is Pumpkin. At least that’s what my momma always calls me.

I’m pretty sure it’s my secret agent name though. You see, she doesn’t call me that in public anymore now that I’m a man. I’m almost four!

When I was a baby, my parents had a favorite word. They would say it every day, all day. And they always said it right before or after my name.

“No, Pumpkin!” or sometimes it was “Pumpkin, no!”

No, don’t eat grass and No, don’t touch the outlet. Pumpkin – No, don’t crawl inside the dishwasher. No, don’t lick those cords. All I hear is “No, no, no.” Every day, it was no.

But one special day, I heard a new word my parents had never used before.

One day, it was “Pumpkin, wait.”

“Wait”? What was wait? What did it mean? I was stuck between yes and no. Wait didn’t mean yes, wait didn’t mean no. Whatever it means, waiting takes a long time to do.

Pretty soon, I found myself waiting for everything. Wait for Momma to finish shopping. Then, wait for dinner. Wait for Daddy to help me. They kept saying wait for this and wait for that. Why did I have to wait?

I had things to do. There was no time for waiting. I had plans to finish and goals to chart. What about the cities I had to conquer? I had jungles to explore most importantly, I had dinner to devour.

Waiting was not on my list. Big men like me don’t wait, I said.

dinosaurOne lazy afternoon, I found myself waiting for something exciting to happen, like a dinosaur trying to invade the backyard. Maybe a cowboy would need my help fighting cattle rustlers. Something exciting was bound to happen soon.

Suddenly, the most wonderful noise came from the kitchen. It could only mean one thing. Momma was doing what she does when she’s bored…baking cookies!

With my spy camp all set up, I was ready for action. I told my men to send out a search party for me if I didn’t return soon. My binoculars focused on the grand prize- the bowl of cookie dough. Reaching my target wouldn’t be easy, but I had to risk it all for just one bite.

The mission was almost complete when I heard, “Pumpkin, wait!” Ah, foiled again. My momma warned, “You’ll get salmonella, or worse – botulism! You’ll get sick and have to go to the hospital.” Gasp! Whatever disease that was, I didn’t want it. “Just wait for the cookies to bake first,” she said.

“Wait!” There’s that word again. What did it mean?

Whatever it meant, I knew it had just saved me from staying in the hospital, horribly sick.

With my nose on the oven door, I watched the timer count down, oh so slowly. Years went by before the cookies were done. It was like the final countdown for a spaceship launch. Three, two, one… Beep!

pizzaCookie time at last! “Pumpkin…,” I sighed. “Wait,” we said together. “But Momma!” I whined. She looked right at me and said, “Remember the pizza last Friday night?” Of course I did. My mouth had turned into a volcano with hot lava running out of it. I burned my tongue all because I didn’t stop for the cheese to cool off.

Wait! There’s that word again.”Wait” must mean you don’t burn your tongue. Whatever it meant, I knew it had just saved me from another fiery mouthful of lava.

Back at my headquarters, I and my men waited for a signal. Before long, we heard the call “Okay, come to the dinner table!” Finally! I was already dreaming of how yummy those cookies would be. Sliding into my chair was like sliding into first base.

But something terribly different looked back at me from my plate. There were no cookies, there was only a big pile of spaghetti. Now, I love spaghetti. But if I was on a deserted island and could only bring one food, I’d bring cookies of course.

The tray of cookies sat sadly across the room. I needed the cookies and they needed an eater. I was willing to volunteer to eat them all. After all, I was a big man now and big men volunteer to do hard tasks for others.

My dad must have seen the sad look in my eyes. “Pumpkin, wait until after dinner to eat the cookies. You’ll ruin your appetite and get a stomach ache.”

Wait! There’s that word again. What did it mean? Wait must mean no hurting tummies. Whatever it meant, I knew it had just saved me from laying in bed all night with my tummy mad at me.

Oh, the torture! It was the longest dinner of my life.

I bulldozed my spaghetti pile but all I could think was, “I’m using up good tummy space that could be filled with cookies instead.”

I was thinking so hard that I almost didn’t hear my momma say something. “Pumpkin, go put your pajamas on and come to the couch, please.” Being sent to bed with no cookies was the worst punishment reserved only for criminals. But I had waited all day and no cookies yet!

I flopped on the sofa as my parents squeezed in on each side. “Thank you for being patient today, Pumpkin,” my daddy said with a smile. I thought only hospitals and doctors had patients. “No Pumpkin, you practiced patience by waiting.”

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Speaks of Patience

“There’s a example in the Bible of two brothers who needed patience. One wanted something too soon, and the other gave away something without waiting. Their names are Jacob and Esau. They made a bad trade over a silly bowl of soup,” Dad said. “In the end, they both were sorry that they didn’t wait for God’s best plan. Impatience says me first. If God thought that story was important enough to put in the Bible, it must be important for us to learn.”

Momma smiled, “What do you say, Pumpkin? Did you learn about needing patience to wait today?” Wait! There’s that word again. This time I knew what it meant. Patience meant not giving up what I wanted most for what I wanted right now.

Patience kept me from hospitals, volcanoes, and tummy aches today. I didn’t trade something valuable like my health or tastebuds for something less.

“And now it’s time for you to learn that patience brings rewards,” said Daddy. He turned to show me three glasses of milk and that big tray of cookies on the coffee table. Conquering cities could wait until later. Exploring jungles could wait until another day. I snuggled in between my parents for the best part of my day.

I didn’t always like the waiting but I loved the end result. It was worth the wait.

Ecclesiastes 7:8, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

Hannah Schmutzler

About the Author

Hannah Schmutzler

Hannah and her husband Cameron are currently on deputation, raising support so they can begin full-time missionary work in Mongolia. She juggles the demands of traveling with those of a toddler and keeps a sweet spirit through it all. Hannah has authored two books in addition to her writing for the Submissive Spirit. She also blesses us with her beautiful voice.

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