The Lemonade Stand

What is the meaning of success?

Recently, my 6 year-old son had the bright idea to have a lemonade stand. And because I am always about teaching lessons to my young children, I thought it was a brilliant idea. “But,” he said, “I want to give it away for free.” “Free?” I asked. “Don’t you want to charge them something, even if it’s a small amount?” Without hesitation, “No!” he replied. “If they don’t have any money, I don’t want that to stop them from being able to get lemonade!”

Not wanting to crush his kind spirit, I took him to the store that morning to purchase supplies for the lemonade stand, then came home to make the (what seemed like) 100 gallons of lemonade. Then together we set up the table, chairs, and tent and launched his “Free Lemonade” stand. Although he really didn’t want to, he allowed me to set out a small tip jar to recoup some of the cost of the supplies (we have to teach him at least one lesson in running a business).

Car after car, person after person, sometimes even lines forming of people waiting to collect their cup of lemonade from the blonde headed boy at the lemonade stand. Each one shocked to see that he was indeed offering his services for free.

After about two and a half hours of hard work, not only were we beat from the heat, but we had poured our last cup of lemonade and decided to call it a day. Once we broke down the table and tent and carried in all of the supplies from our day’s labor, Rollins proudly grabbed his tip jar and collapsed at the kitchen table.

Sitting with him, the two of us emptied the full jar of generous “tips” and began counting out what others had given him for his generosity. After the last coin was counted, Rollins proudly announced to his mother and sister that he had received $165 in tips from his “free” lemonade stand.

What defined his success that day? His generous tips? The amount of people he served? The amount of lemonade poured? I suppose all of those things could be considered in determining his success (I never would have dreamed $165 could be earned from a “free” lemonade stand).

But what’s more than all of those factors is the generosity and kind-soul of a little blonde headed, one green and one blue-eyed little boy, simply wanting to bless others…giving someone something simply to make their day brighter – whether or not they had anything to give him in return. That’s the measure of success in my opinion. And no matter what else he does in life, as long as he carries that simply yet profound principle with him, I have no doubt he will indeed grasp the true meaning of success.

What drives your success? My prayer this month is that each person at and affiliated with BVT would come to realize the true measure of success. Not how the world perceives success, but how Christ determines it…and that your heart reflects the generosity of Christ in all that you do.

Until next time,

Steven Campbell
Executive Director