A young boy sat in his front yard on the edge of a sandbox—
pouring water out of a small cup, into a variety of molds
filled with sand and dirt.
It was a confusing picture.
Yes, he hummed a certain contentment.
It was a song, though, punctuated by sniffles.
I asked him how he was doing.
“I’m okay. I’m fine… Now,” he said,
wiping his runny nose with his sleeve.
Red, swollen eyes betrayed some prior trauma.
“But, it looks like you’ve been crying.”
“My daddy scared me this morning,” he said with a slight scowl.
“He wanted to take us to a place called South Padre Island.
I told him I didn’t want to go.
I told him that there was no school today and I wanted to play.
I wanted to make mud pies.”
“Have you ever been to South Padre?
Have you ever been to a beach?,” I asked.
“Why they have lots of sand… and plenty else to do!”
“Yeah, that’s what my daddy says.
But, I don’t care. I’m happy here.”
As he continued, his face tightened,
his brow furrowed and his lip curled:
“I told Daddy that. I told him I didn’t care…
I threw myself down and told him that I didn’t want to go,
that he couldn’t make me go, that I wasn’t going to go!”
There was a sniffle or two as he wiped his runny nose again.
“Mommy and Daddy are inside, unpacking now…
Don’t know why they are so sad.
Don’t know why they are so mad,” he concluded.
“I couldn’t be happier!”
No, this did not really happen.
It’s a fiction, a parable I created –
inspired by words of C.S. Lewis.
But, while the story may not be real, it is true –
for the ways and signals something that is,
too often, happening around us (and within us).
In my own life, I find myself admitting and praying:
Forbid that I—that we—
should be satisfied with our mud pies in our slums
when a holiday at the beach is your plan and promise!
Forgive us for our lesser contentments.
Equip us, equip me
for the joyful journey
of your higher Glory
and our true selves!
It’s a prayer and a metaphor which strike
at the heart of our mission and hopes here at Zoe-Life Explorations:
* helping folks hear an invitation to an alternative [richer] life, and
* helping them navigate the path to that life
(including the inner resistances and inclinations
that stand in the way on the journey)