Just before summer started, I observed a boy of 8-9 years of age searching for a prize so energetically that I had to stop my typical hurried walk from my car to the office and watch.
The sun cast a yellow glow that day, and the shadows were long. There, on the edge of an empty parking lot, a young boy had removed himself from the passenger seat of his parent’s car and was stalking a small creature. His actions were nervous and full of life, extraneous, and swelling as he approached the tiny target. There was no little movement, for the rise of a leg also caused his head to bend back and his arms to fly outward. Steps progressed, and then, as he neared his target, he magically shrunk and was extremely still. Only two small hands protruded from what had become an orb, and these would joust forward, then halt and retreat, joust, then halt and retreat. This occurred several times. The boy’s head then turned toward the vehicle nervously, seeking maternal encouragement. A few words came from inside. Silent. Fidgety. Then, with all the speed he could muster, the boy struck – both hands straight down onto the dew-moistened earth, hands covering where his prize once rested. Silent. Still. Anticipation rose as our lad scooped his hands together, shot his torso from the ground, and looked for his new little captive.
Jumping up and down, running around the car, arms went every which way. How could he have missed? He must win, he must!
Just then, the target came back into view from several feet away, and the process was repeated. Big steps, small orb,… This time, as his hands struck and then rose from the earth the animal remained within a gentle grasp. The celebration started as the boy hurried with his prize to the driver’s side of the white auto. The door flung open and this wild creature became a member of the family, for it was about to make the journey in a plastic looking case. The boy’s fingers now free, he jumped and danced with arms flailing – the touchdown dance moved several times around the vehicle. Ecstatic! This continued for several minutes. Finally, our young man wiped his hands on his pant legs and jumped into the seat from where he started. The car started and continued its journey the rest of the way to school.
Funny thing, I saw this story happen nearly three months ago, and I thought I must write about it. As a director, it was a great observation of childhood behavior with strong motivation. Time passed and I forgot. This morning I was pleasantly surprised as the story repeated itself when I pulled my car to a stop about a 100 yards from the same boy, now a bit taller, on the edge of a distant parking lot.
I ran inside, and here I sit recollecting my thoughts. I couldn’t let the story pass me once again! Now you, as a reader, have been able to participate in this brief occurrence. At the same time, I also bring this story with a challenge… What prize are you seeking? I’m too old, or too busy, or ______ (fill in the blank)! It’s strange how we admire the energy of a child in a case such as the story above, but isn’t it so true that in our adult lives we seem to have given up living when we settle for merely existing at a level of mediocrity and not pursuing those things that God has built us to do? What’s the risk? What are the rewards? Is the journey worth it?
Personally, I don’t want to settle, and though it’s hard to keep from doing so because there are so many who have succumbed to “hum-drum,” I very much want to be alive – being willing to maybe look a little foolish with youthful enthusiasm as I seek for the prize and claim what’s in store. Don’t give up on your God-given dreams.