It was an exciting moment. Little David, 18 months old, was to see his parents again after being separated from them for more than 24 hours. How would he react?
He saw them come in the door and the light of happy recognition spread across his face. But there was no direct route to the door. He had to go past a long coffee table and around the couch before he could be swept into their arms.
He immediately set out. But his eyes fell on a piece of paper with three colorful stickers on it, something left over from one of the older children’s projects. He picked it up, and worked at the bright red sticker with his fingers. Then he remembered that he had more important business, so he dropped the paper and went on.
About half-way along the coffee table he saw a water-color paint set. “Hmmmm—this is interesting.” “Investigating” is one of his main occupations, so he picked up the paints and turned them over in his chubby hands. Then he remembered that he had more important business, so he dropped the paints and went on.
He had just cleared the end of the couch with a burst of energy that came from now having a clear vision of his goal, when WHAM! He was hit head-on and capsized by his three-year-old sister, who was already returning after receiving her hug.
Poor little guy! By this time his parents had got past the folks that met them at the door, so, of course, he was scooped into his father’s arms and comforted.
I couldn’t help but think how often that drama is repeated in our spiritual family. One of God’s children comes to himself and determines to return to his Father. This or that little piece of glitter distracts him momentarily. But in the back of his mind the thought of his Father’s smiling face overcomes, and with new resolve, he hurries on. Just when he thinks the way is clear, he is hit head-on by some well-meaning elder brother who has been faithfully paying his respects to the Father, but who has forgotten, as we often do, to watch out for the little ones.