I had the privilege to spend yesterday hanging out with 11 year old Mallory Burnfield. I am friends with her Mom Karen who was going in for ACL surgery so I volunteered to entertain Mallory for the day. Let me tell you I did little of the entertaining and instead spent most of the day being entertained. I had forgotten how fun and refreshing it is to spend your day with a youngster. You know what I mean....the say exactly what they are thinking, the soak everything in like a sponge, and the don't have a care in the world except for what is coming t.v. age. It was a good reminder that life isn't nearly as complicated as we may like to think it is. Sure as adults we have more responsibilities and things plaguing our time than what will be on t.v. that night. (oh my I did just group myself in with all of you adults!) However, too often we forget that God never gives us more than we can handle. We forget that He made us to walk side by side with us and that whatever we are going through He is there with us. On some days our circumstances may seem like too much. The demands on us seem far greater than the strength we possess. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives - giving up or relying on the on who created us. Even when we wrongly choose the first alternative, He stands waiting for us. He will not reject us but instead stands ready to help us crawl out of the mire of discouragement when we finally turn back toward Him. He will infuse us with His strength with each passing moment. He promises to give us what we need for THIS day. If any of you out there are like me it is the last part that trips you up...THIS DAY. So often we want to solve this weeks problems...this months problems....this years problems before you go to sleep Sunday evening. We look ahead at what is to come and stress over how to get it all done or how to "fix it." What we are forgetting it that we were not made to worry about tomorrow. I have realized lately that I spend so much time worrying about my future that I forget to be thankful for today. Don't get me wrong I worry about tomorrow because I'm focusing so intently on what God is leading me to or what decision is the most Godly. However, in doing so I often times forget to thank Him for what He has placed in my life today. I'm sure some of you are wondering what any of this has to do with the fact that I spent my day with Mallory. To me it is simple. At the end of my time with her I was reminded of how great it is to be a kid. To not worry about things.
One of my favorite moments of the day came when Mallory and I were making Lasagna for dinner. We were half way through the recipe when it calls for tomato paste. I had bought the tomato paste but found that I didn't have a can opener to open it with....a huge problem if you want the Lasagna to taste like it should! If you are like me your mind automatically started thinking about how you could get somewhere to buy a can opener. I began trying to figure out how to put everything I was doing on home while I ran to the store to buy a can opener. While I was silently debating what to do Mallory looks up at me and with all the innocence she possesses said "should I run and ask a neighbor if we can borrow their can opener?" There you have it. The entire time I was stressing and making the problem into something bigger than it really was Mallory simply looked at me with a duh expression and solved the problem. I watched as she slipped her shoes on and walked to the neighbors door. I listened as she sweetly explained the problem, asked for a can opener, and then promised to bring it right back. She then promptly handed me the solution to our problem as if the whole process had been a piece of cake. I stood in amusement as walked toward the kitchen and gently said "you better hurry and use it because I promised I would return it as soon as we are done." When did we become a society that thinks first to run to the store to buy a can opener so that we don't have to "burden" our neighbor by asking to borrow theirs? When did it become necessary for every person in a housing development to buy a lawn mower or tool set instead of simply sharing with one another? How is it we preach lessons of sharing and kindness to our children and then forget what that means as adults? In one brief moment Mallory reminded me of what it looked like to live in a sort of community where we give and take....where we take care of one another. She reminded me that instead of stressing over a situation it was easier to think of a simple solution.