Friday, January 21, 2005

"Can you tell me who made you?" the pastor asked the small boy.

The youngster thought a moment. Then he looked up at the pastor and said, "God made part of me."

"What do you mean, part of you?" asked the pastor.

"Well," answered the boy, "God made me little. I grew the rest myself."


Legos, grass seed, Tinkertoys, and baseball cards. That's the challenge of this Life: most experiences come only as a "starter pack." And the rest is left up to you...

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we entered into this world as elderly persons and exited as babies? Think of all the knowledge and wisdom we'd already have on the front end to apply to the rest of our life. And as our life went on, we would become more youthful and energetic and worry less and less about "keeping up with the Joneses." And in our last years we would be doing what we enjoyed most: playing with toys and watching cartoons. Okay, so unfortunately Life doesn't unfold for anyone in this fashion.

So have you ever wondered why it is that we enter into this world as babies with a virtual tabla rosa (empty slate) for a cerebral cortex? Why weren't we given at least a couple ounces of wisdom? Or at least two more teaspoons of common sense?

I have to stop here and tell you that I truly believe that I have THE greatest job in the entire world. There was no position or title that ever compared or will EVER compare to the role I find myself in right now: a stay-at-home-play-at-home father of triplets and a seven-year-old boy. And it is through this experience that I have come to better appreciate the story above.

Observing my daughters Emily and Hannah and son Nicholas grow, advance and interact each day, I have come to fully believe that all we need - and will ever need - to embrace the very heartbeat of Heaven came already packaged in that little human we each were at one time. We all began with an open-ended sense of trust, love and hope for anyone that cared enough to hug us, kiss us and laugh with us... and then it went downhill from there...

Life, my friend, is a "starter pack" for each of us. We each were born with different temperaments, talents and predispositions, but we each were born with enough kindness, hope, trust, courage and honor to make this world one great love-in... it just depends on how we each have chosen to cultivate those seeds.

Hannah, Nicholas and Emily are just fine the way they are and have all the mental and emotional capabilities they need... as long as they stay 15 months old. But that's not going to happen. And it didn't happen that way for any of us. No one said that we would ever be able to make a life out of 15 legos, 47 pieces of Tinkertoys, 20 lbs. of grass seed or a handful of baseball cards. Because just like other businesses, the Greater Marketer never expected us to stay with only the starter pack. We were always expected to purchase additional packs; learn new experiences, experience new adventures, adventure new lands and voyages. We were not only expected to plant the seeds, but then to also take care and time to fertilize and water those seeds. In other words, the child we were born into was our gift from God and the adult we grow ourselves into is our gift to God.

My friend, we each were born into this Life with a starter pack of a compass and a destination. Those have not and will not change in our life. The equipment, the knowledge and the path we choose is left for us to choose. Here is a prayer that your equipment is light, your knowledge is saturated with wisdom and grace, and your path is straight and narrow. Travel light and hold that starter pack close.

hoedl's haven
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