Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Glimpse of the Man

Our lives are currently overrun with batting helmets, baseball schedules and even a catcher's mask on occasion.  It's been a bit busy, but very enjoyable, especially for the little old man, who of course spends most of his off-school hours practicing, practicing the batting and catching skills he so wants.  I know this is a real shift to boyhood, this fascination with sports, but recently I caught a glimpse of the man inside.

It was totally unrelated to his baseball fantasies, in fact.

For the last year and a half, he has been begging to try pushing our very heavy, bagged push mower around our somewhat substantial yard.  I've resisted.  He's 'helped' push in the past, and it usually makes the already difficult task even more cumbersome.  This year I gave in a bit and let go of the mower handle.

I watched as his tanned, resolute arms struggled and exerted.  He broke a sweat and tried with all the muscles in his lean little form, and he pushed the mower.  No matter how mother henly I clucked next to him, wanting to save him from this sharp corner or that little slope, the determined boy finished the front lawn by himself.  I was shocked and promptly rewarded him with a Pepsi from Daddy's forbidden stash.

The next mowing I figured he'd remember how hard it was and shy away from any involvement.  I was very mistaken.  As I laced my mowing shoes, he got ready and even beat me outside, pulling out the mower to get started even faster.  I asked my little guy why he was so excited to work, of all things.  His reply brought tears to my eyes.

He wants to mow to get strong enough to mow the whole lawn every time, so I wouldn't have to work so hard; so I could spend some time doing something enjoyable.

And that's what it means to be a real man.  Thoughtfulness.  Self-sacrifice.  Doing something hard to spare the ones you love.

Some day I'll hand him over to a lucky young lady, and I'll remember this day.  I'll remind him of what it means to be a real man.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Quote On Happiness

I am casually reading through Philip Yancey's book Where Is God When It Hurts?, an exploration of pain and its purpose.  Here is a quite a truism which I ran across this morning:

     "If I spend my life searching for happiness through drugs, comfort, and luxury, it will elude me.  'Happiness recedes from those who pursue her.'  Happiness will come upon me unexpectedly as a by-product, a surprising bonus for something I have invested myself in.  And, most likely, that investment will include pain.  It is hard to imagine pleasure without it."  (Chapter 4)

Although he is specifically speaking of physical pain, the quote is quite applicable for any type of pain.  We all go through difficult times, some of us live in pain of a physical or emotional nature constantly, but it is a comfort to know that the hard times sharpen our senses to the real joys and rewards of life.  God's consolation for the valley is the sharp contrast of the mountain top.

Monday, September 2, 2013

To Kick Off The Season...

I was in Michigan recently because, contrary to popular belief, mother-in-laws can be cherished friends.  In the early morning, I took a drive past a local high school.  The tick-tacking of a drum cadence caught my attention.  The tenor drums ponged and pinged, and the bass drums thunked as I drove by. (That brought back fall memories to me.  Every fall my high school marching band would terrorize the neighborhoods surrounding the school with their early morning practices.  Nothing like whistles and drums for a great wake-up call.)
I waited at a light and turned to see a herd of young men in full game gear stretching and sprinting, readying themselves for practice on the dewy field.  A cool morning breeze floated through my car and I thought of my hubby, and the scores of careers that he had seen start on these Michigan football fields. 

It is practically fall, the season of cool breezes and football and leaves.  Let's hunker down and prep the fire place for the months to come.