Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reindeer Tongues and Speeding Strollers

They came.  They saw.  They conquered.  This time of the year (Okay, any time of the year) much of my attention is scarfed up by three wee little ones that I call "rug rats."  Or, more properly, grandkids.  They put the light in the sun and the fizz in my drink.  They can show up after a wedding or a funeral and every thought is put on hold as they become the centerpiece of my brain.
Honestly, that surprises me.  It's a poorly kept secret that I preferred to never have children.  By logical assumption I never wanted grandkids either.  That is because I did not have the slightest understanding of how God arranges life.  He builds it into our DNA to live life for those who come after us.  That is what keeps me from throwing my gum wrappers out the window of my car, and causes me to think twice before doing my best to wreck the environment.  Were it not for the generations coming after me I would be the #1 environmental assassin.  I would kick cans into the Grand Canyon and throw laundry detergent into the river above Niagara Falls.  I do love me some bubbles.
And then these three come along and ruin my fun.  The Amazing Elle.  The Precious Paisley.  The Joyful Judah.  I didn't apply for them.  I didn't win a contest.  I simply ... lived.  I reproduced myself (grant it, with the help of my wife who "claims" to have known all along how awesome kids are.  I have my doubts.)  Eventually my kids began reproducing themselves.  And now here we are, the last to get seated at restaurants because there are so many of us.  And I freakishly don't mind waiting.

Last weekend we took all three to see (and feed) live reindeer.  This is much more fun than taking them to see (and feed) dead reindeer.  So we went.  The verdict was mixed.  They loved feeding them crackers but they were not so hot on feeding them oats.  Nor was I.  The reindeer expected you to pour the oats into your hand and they would then lick them from your palm.


I think I understand why Jesus loved little kids so much.  They just are who they are.  No pretense.  You love them for who they are ... or you don't.  And Jesus did.  Their laughter is infectious.  Last night I was pushing Paisley around the second floor of the Galleria in her stroller.  I wasn't just pushing her.  She was the race car and I was the engine.  I spied a stair case leading to the first floor.  I aimed at it and off we went.  Full speed ahead.  Fear brought her half way out of her seat just as I stopped ... her two front wheels dangling over the first step.  She looked back over the handles at me and I could tell what she was thinking.  "Please God.  Just get me back to mom.  This guys nuts."  I tempered my actions a bit.  When a three year old thinks you are immature ... well.  Yet just minutes later we were walking the length of the mall to go to our cars.  Paisley looked up and me and said, "Let's race!"  So off we went.  We dodged in and out of surprised shoppers and around kiosks.  That's when I noticed Pais looking up at me over the handle again.  "The STAIRS, grandpa!  The STAIRS!" 

I love these kids.  The three of them think like I do.  And I don't care what you say ... that's a "win" for me.

And somehow I think Jesus sports a great big smile when He leads us on a scary mission.  He sees our eyes grow big and knows that we are thinking, "Please just get me to heaven safely.  This guy is crazy!"  And then I suppose there is a God-sized belly laugh when He hears us later on praying, "Father, I never felt more alive than I did when you were using me.  Scared.  But ALIVE.  Let's do it again!"

Jesus loves it when the kids come over.  Maybe He's waiting for you to drop by?  Perhaps it has been a while?  Why not spend a few minutes with Him today.  See what He's got in mind for your life.  It's a ride you won't regret.  Just remember ... you have to put up with oats and speeding strollers ...


The Dashboard Poet said...

You are the world's most perfect parent/grandparent. Well....maybe Joseph and Mary were the most perfect parents. But you get my drift.