The young boy, my guess is 3 or 4 years of age, was having the time of his life! The object of his attention was a toy car, but on this day, it could have been anything. The weather was perfect, parents and friends were in fun spirits, and then there was his imagination! He was in a world of his own imagination and he welcome anyone and everyone who wanted to join him.
In his joy, he did not know that the parents in the group had chosen to give everyone a treat with the ice cream man. The moms had decided that wet tissues and clean hands was going to be a required step before anyone could get into the queue, dads included. The dads were the first to get the clean treatment. With a bit of joking that they were old enough to decide (the winner in every case was a woman), the kids were next. For the young boy with the car, it was impossible for him to see beyond the reality that he needed to let go of the car!
For several minutes, it was an impossible task. Even when he gave the car to his mother, his eyes and full attention were on where she had set the car down. He was ok with having his hands clean, but the next step was going to be with the car! Nothing seemed to persuade him otherwise. His mother pointed, told him what was coming, and talked of his favorites. His eyes were firmly fixed on the past.
The sound of his friends enjoying their ice cream distracted his gaze. It seemed to be the first awareness that there was something more than what was.
When I listen to a voice talking about the past, especially my own, “That’s what they’ll get, those out to get me – an avalanche of just deserts from God.” (Psalm 109.20) I think I have grown up. Then I discover I am still three. There are so many possibilities ahead of us.
Time to live.