I prepare for summer holidays, but rarely do I plan for the holidays throughout the year, like President’s Day. Although, it’s on my calendar, this one, like others, snuck up me.
What to do? I know!
Noah picked out several of his favorite trains and his recording device and headed outside. Judah followed, trying to figure out his activity of choice, but I had plans for him!
“Judah, come with me.”
We walked up our short, steep driveway and down to our neighbor’s parked flatbed trailer full of mulch. “Take whatever you need,” he said. “I’ve got the wheelbarrow, rake, and shovel over there, too, if you need them.”
My hands firmly grasped the wooden handles as I rolled the single-wheeled tool around the area. “See, Judah? This is how you use a wheelbarrow. Here, you try.” He copied me exactly. “Okay, I’m going to fill it with mulch; then we’ll empty it at our house.” I pointed to the rocky strip by our driveway.
After shoveling as much mulch as I could into the bucket of the barrow, I gestured to Judah to grab the handles and push the single-wheeled wagon. He did very well on his first try, not once dumping any shavings. Several more times up and down our steep driveway, he wheeled the barrow while I filled it. Then it occurred to me.
“You know, Judah, life’s like a wheelbarrow.” Judah’s face contorted as he exerted extra force to roll over rocks and weedy areas on the side of the road. “C’mon, Judah, push! That’s it! You’re going to find throughout your life that there are lots of bumps and places that make life harder to push through. You’ll need perseverance… Good job, Judah. Don’t stop. Push harder. There you go!”
He really struggled once he approached the edge of the road, and I saw the look of “almost-defeat.” Gripping the edge of the wheelbarrow, I continued my little life lesson. “And when you find yourself in a place you cannot conquer on your own, remember God is your strength. He will always help you when you ask Him for it.” I lifted up on the edge, helping the wheel onto the road.
Although a cool breeze fanned our hot faces, the sun’s warm rays touched our cheeks, coloring them a blush rouge. Up and down. Fill and empty. “Judah, you’ll have what seem like mountains in your life. As you learn to trust God, and your faith grows, you’ll find the strength to climb that mountain. And last, but not least, you’re like a cup, Judah-boy. You must always allow the Holy Spirit to fill you in order to be emptied and poured out for others. You’ll be stronger when you do.”
I didn’t know how much of what I said he understood, but the lesson could just as well been for me, too. May the Holy Spirit give him insight in His time. I looked at Judah. He was hot and reaching his limit. “All right, one more trip, Judah, and we can be done.” He returned my gaze as if to say, “I’m done now.”
“C’mon. Last one, and then all done.” I grabbed the handles and wheeled the contraption up the steep driveway for the last time, giving him a little reprieve. As we walked together, I had one more thought.”One last thing about life, Judah: when you’re tired, you are never alone. Remember, God is always with you. You are never alone.
I smiled at him. He was visibly tired. His eyes didn’t meet mine, but his expression communicated that he was ready for another activity. He’d been trooper! We smacked hands with high fives as he congratulated himself, “Goo’-job.”
“Yes, Judah. Well done. You ready for some lunch”?