As I passed the parking lot, it was obvious that the struggle for dominance was on. The five-year-old girl was wriggling, twisting, and turning with everything she had! Her mom had her suspended by her wrist, holding on while talking and looking straight into her eyes. I am not sure what she thought she was seeing. From my perspective, the mom was struggling to be in control. Her eyes and body language were loud and clear.
The girl had a different look. Usually I find kids, even misbehaving ones, attractive. Their naïve enthusiasm in living life to the maximum often gets them in trouble, however it is attractive. This girl was on a mission. Her body language spoke with clarity beyond her years. She was in control of herself. She wanted something. She was going to get it. There was no doubt or hesitation. Her eyes said this and more. They owned Paul’s words. “I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me!” (1 Corinthians 9.26)
I hesitated to see how this was going to unfold. In that moment, I realized this was a moment that only those involved should share. I turned away towards my destination.
The look in the young girl’s eyes still haunts me. I do not know that I bring this kind of clarity to living. If I did, what would it look like? As intensely as she was in the moment, I did not sense that this was a child that was out of control. She knew exactly what she was doing and why. She understood the moment around her. She had a goal and was going for it.
It is easy to not care. As painful and tiring as life can be, giving up is a choice that is often within reach. In my experience, choosing this option is not one that we are often criticized for. It is far more “normal” than not.
A little girl reminded me that life is worth fighting for.