It was Jesse’s turn to throw his boomerang. His village was famous for the crafting of the best boomerangs. The annual festival of slinging boomerangs into the sky was the way the villagers celebrated thirteen-year-old boys becoming men. The carved L-shaped pieces of wood, when thrown expertly, would spin through the air, looping back to the thrower. It took a finely crafted boomerang and a skilled thrower with many hours of practice to sling it forth into the sky and have it return to the sender. The boy whose boomerang returned nearest his feet would be honored for a lifetime as that year’s champion.
Jesse’s father, Magerspun, was known as the best of the boomerang craftsmen of the village. He had put much loving work into the special boomerang his son now grasped, a boomerang uniquely crafted for the left-handed Jesse.
But Jesse had practiced little. He loved his father as a son should love his father, but was embarrassed that his father was only known as a boomerang carver. Other boys’ fathers were great hunters, hut builders, or fishermen.
When it was his turn, Jesse slung his boomerang into the air with everyone watching. It wobbled, turned some, but failed to return to Jesse, dropping to the ground a distance away. The other boys taunted Jesse as he walked the distance to retrieve it, about how his father’s boomerangs were no longer the best in the village. Jesse knew, down deep, that the problem was not the boomerang but him, the thrower of the boomerang.
That evening, around the family’s cooking fire, Jesse’s father said to him, “One week from today we have the final throws of the boomerangs. You have the best boomerang in the village, you can win. They will hail you as the champion and call your father the greatest of boomerang makers.”
Jesse scowled, looking at his father, then said, “You just want to be known as the best boomerang maker.”
His father sighed, put a hand on his son’s shoulder, and said softly, “I do not need for others to look up to me. You, my son, however, have a need to look up to your father. I don’t want your respect for my benefit but for yours!”
Jesse said nothing, not really understanding what his father had said, but sensing what he said was true. That week he practiced hours each day. The week passed and the day of the final throws had arrived. Jesse was the last to compete. He grasped the smooth curved boomerang, paused, focused, and whipped out his arm, slinging the boomerang into the clear blue sky. It spun with a blur, curved, and returned, falling nearly at his feet. “You won! You’re the greatest!” the crowd shouted. They also chanted, “Magerspun is the great crafter of boomerangs!”
Jesse looked at his father who was smiling at him and found himself raising his arms and joining in the chants of praise for his father. It then occurred to Jesse that he was far happier for the praise his father was receiving than for the praise he himself was receiving. He had thrown the boomerang for the glory of his father, and at that moment as he felt the blessings of the praise for his father boomerang back to him, he felt very blessed indeed.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31