Pulled from my archives…
Last week on my day off I had some errands to run so I called my daughter to see if my four-year-old grandson Ben wanted to tag along. Of course the answer was yes so I hopped in the truck and drove the two blocks to pick him up. As soon as I walked in the house, Ben ran towards me and began pulling on the bottom of my shirt. While bouncing up and down he said over and over, “come on grandma, let’s go, let’s go.” Unable to talk to Kelly between Ben’s pleas, I gave in and the two of us headed out the open garage door.
Ben never stopped chattering as he shimmied his little body up onto the front seat and began to buckle his seat belt. As I sat down I told him if he behaved at Starbucks and Costco, I would take him to McDonalds for lunch.
By the time we got to Starbucks Ben was bursting with energy.
All my attempts to calm him failed as he began to run around the store touching merchandise and grabbing at stuff on the condiment bar. As I tried to get my coffee and corral him, I became frustrated. Afraid of losing my temper, I took a deep breath and tried to guide him out the door, but he darted from me and ran toward the truck.
Trying to juggle my coffee and purse, I grabbed him by the arm, knelt down and told him if he didn’t behave I would have to take him home (my ultimate threat). The corners of his mouth turned down as he folded his arms across his chest and said, “fine, I won’t go in Costco, I wait in da truck”.
“Ok,” I said as I chuckled and helped him climb into his seat.
Ben was calmer as he sat next to me fiddling with the knobs on the dashboard as I drove across town to Costco. The minute I turned off the engine, Ben was out of his seat belt and headed for the door.
“Wait a second” I said, “I thought you weren’t going into Costco.” A guilty look came over his face and he grinned, “I kidding grandma.” Laughing, I asked, “You aren’t staying in the truck?” Ben, realizing I was joking, laughed and said, “I kid you grandma, I go in Costco,” then he jumped down, took my hand and we walked toward the entrance together.
That afternoon when I dropped Ben off at home, Kelly laughed as I told her the story of Ben’s silly behavior. Later that night I told Papa, Uncle Daniel, and Ben’s dad Dan. The next day I laughed again as I told my coworkers about my day with Ben. But the more I told the story the more it reminded me of my own childish behavior. And I began to realize how spiritually, I was a lot like Ben.
Many times, I get angry with God because I can’t have my way. I too have pouted, folded my arms, and told God I wasn’t going to pray or go to church anymore. Many times, I’ve quit reading my Bible because I felt it wasn’t making a difference.
Then lo and behold, something happens to confirm my faith and there I am on my knees at church, or sitting in the dark pouring my heart out to God.
I think it’s nice to know God loves me in many of the same ways I love my grandson. I imagine there are times my face looks as silly as Ben’s when I’m caught in my own trap. I think God is amused when I’m at my desk hunkered over my Bible, in essence saying like Ben, “God, I kid you, I go in Costco.”
And I rejoice knowing at any time I can reach for the comfort of His hand as I take the next step in my journey towards home.