Bundle Boy went to a birthday party for a friend this weekend. Inside the goody bag that the hostess sent home with each guest was a rubber bouncy ball. I used to collect rubber balls as a kid. In fact I think I still have a bag of them somewhere around here that has traveled with me everywhere we have lived in this world. When I saw the clear quarter-sized ball with sparkling stars inside, it made me think of my childhood collection. Bundle Boy has been busy bouncing it in the appropriate areas of the house with all happiness.
Yesterday we were loading up the stroller to take a walk to the playground. Bundle Boy stood at the end of the driveway in our cul-de-sac and inadvertently dropped his prized gift. He announced to me that it was rolling down the street. I was on the porch getting ready to grab a toy from inside for his Babydoll Sis. "No! Don't go after it!" He took a few steps, looked back at me then stepped again. He saw his ball rushing down the street and he was torn about whether he should obey my voice or go after what was so important to him. A neighbor two doors down was working in his yard and physically dropped what was in his hands to run down the street. "Its going toward the storm drain!" he said. I was actually quite touched that he wanted to save my son's new toy. "Its alright," I said. He stopped in his tracks. N was a little stressed. "Bundle Boy, you are never allowed to run out in the street to go after something. It isn't safe." "OK, Mommy. But my ball..." he said. "It stopped on the edge of the drain," the neighbor confirmed. I told Bundle Boy to stay in the driveway and I would go get the ball. Sure enough just past the storm drain, there it was stopped on a pile of twigs that had collected in the gutter. It didn't disappear. It was found. I brought it up to my son and put it safely back into his hands.
Isn't this the exact scenario we play out with God on a daily basis? This thing is very important to me. I want it. I need it. It brings me happiness. Something happens and we think we are about to lose it forever. We want to control it. We hear God say, "No! Don't go after it!" but we hesitate. We struggle to trust. I am so much closer than you are LORD. I could get it. "NO," he says loudly. Had he actually run out into the street, he could have gotten hurt. Just moments before our next door neighbor came tearing up the hill straight into her drive way while we stood in ours. BB could have just as easily been in harm's way while chasing the ball. I never guaranteed to him while I hollered from the porch that I would get the ball back for him. I just said don't go after it. Trust me! The fact that the ball was found cradled delicately in a nest of sticks inches from being lost forever was just a gift perhaps for his obedience. Trust my voice, son. Not for what you will get out of it, but for the purpose I have in the command.
Oh Lord, thank you for the joy found in rubber bouncy balls. Thank you for gravity that takes prized gifts away from our hands. Thank you for the perspective and big picture You see while standing on the porch and for often hollering loudly for the whole neighborhood to hear. Thank you for repeating your words as we grapple with wanting to trust and obey but seeing how we can easily solve the problem. Thank you for your grace in trusting and sometimes blessing us with the gift of the very thing we put into your hands. Help me not to get fixated on chasing the ball. Help me to say thank you whether it rolls into the storm drain or you go later to retrieve it from its safe resting place.