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I remember saving up for holidays when I was little. I also remember blowing my entire holiday savings on the ferry one year travelling over from Guernsey to England. How did I spend eighteen shillings and sixpence on the ferry? Easy. I invested the entire amount sixpence at a time into a one-armed bandit. At just ten years of age I discovered why these fiendish devices are called bandits. The next challenge was to conceal the fact that I had nothing to spend on holiday from my parents.

When James my third son was three years old he also spent all of his holiday money in one go. You might think that would be challenging for a three-year old, particularly given parental control over his funds. Not at all! James spent his holiday money on a toy gorilla. As soon as James saw the gorilla on a shelf in a shop in Pembroke on the first day of our holiday he wanted it. James wanted the gorilla so badly that no amount of parental pressure, bribery or threats could change his mind. The holiday money was handed to the shop assistant and the gorilla finally belonged to James. He didn’t care that he had no money left. All James cared about was that the gorilla belonged to him. He called the gorilla ‘Doo’ for some strange reason (we could not persuade him otherwise). ‘Doo’ still resides in James’ bedroom, even though James now lives away from home.

‘Doo’ reminds me of a story Jesus told:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46).

And that’s the challenge. How much value do you place on developing a relationship with Jesus that will open heaven to you for all eternity? And what does that mean in terms of surrendering everything you have to Him?