Monday, April 7, 2014


The weekend before last, my chunk of the Hall family converged on Battle Creek, MI for our annual March Birthday Weekend Extravaganza! That sounds impressive, like some major city-wide festival, but it's really just a couple dozen people getting together and talking and eating . . . and watching grandchildren and grand nieces swarming all over the place.

It takes most of the day to get there. We leave our home shortly after breakfast and drive until it's time for supper. But despite the trip there and back, the journey is always well worth the time spent in the car. That's because at the end of our travels we get to see people we love and that makes journey more than worth it.

There are dangers on the roadways though, especially driving through Chicago as we do. Lots and lots of cars, many of them driving WELL beyond the speed limit. One has to be ever watchful. Side mirrors, rear view mirrors. Always watchful, always protecting.

While we were in Michigan I noticed something about our grandson. He is on a mission. A mission to get his hands on as many things as he possibly can! He literally runs around the room, eyes darting back and forth, looking for things to play with or to destroy. Somebody's phone, a wireless mouse for great grandma's computer, a dog . . . MY laptop!

I'd sit in the family room, writing a story, while my phone sat on the arm of the chair - an open invitation for my grandson. As soon as he noticed it sitting there, seemingly unprotected, he would start coming towards it, full speed ahead. His sudden motion usually caught my eye and I would pick up the phone at the last minute, simultaneously denying my grandson the pleasure of a new toy and denying myself the cost of a new phone. My grandson just likes to explore is all. He likes to seek. But I always have my eye on him because I know that sometimes he can get himself into trouble . . . without even knowing it.

My son took HIS son outside for some father/son playtime and some fresh air. My son let HIS son explore and seek things on his own. He slid down snow banks, ate some snow, but always with his father's supervision. "You don't want to eat the YELLOW snow" is a helpful tip for an inexperienced young snow eater.

For a young boy seeking to discover things, there are certain things he is not ready to find yet. The road at the end of the driveway for example. Our grandson is not capable of understanding that big cars drive on that road and they can be dangerous. The stream that runs through my parents backyard is another danger for little boy who don't know how to swim yet. Water can be a fascinating thing to play with but it is also dangerous. And my grandson's father was there all the time, watching, protecting.

God is like that but He will let us get into all kinds of trouble, lots of trouble, just so we will REALLY learn the lessons He wants us too.

Have you gone through a struggle lately? What did you learn from it? How many friends came along side you when you needed it? Did God reach out to you in some unexpected way? Life is filled with lessons, opportunities and challenges. How do we handle them? Do we throw up our arms and wonder, "Why is all this happening to me?" or do we pause and think, "God, what do you want me to learn in this?"

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

"For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity." - Proverbs 24:16

"Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come." - 1 Corinthians 10:11
Here's a video of a talented guy, a guy who struggled mightily until God got his attention one day . . . and changed his life.

Christian Hosoi - I Am Second

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