Wayne Weekly “Spoonfuls of Dirt…Hope After All”

Written by on May 22, 2019

This past Saturday my wife and I attended our nephew’s two children’s combined birthday party. Peyton turned four, Taylor turned two.

It was a great time of family together. Good food and lots of laughing. Peyton and Taylor were enjoying the center of attention, as you can imagine. Mom, her sisters and the Grandma’s were busily running to and fro making sure everyone was well attended to. It was an event.

Now it was time for the birthday cakes, the singing of “Happy Birthday” and the opening of gifts. We all gathered together in the living room and connected dining room to watch expressions and hear all of the outbursts of kid excitement. The gifts from loved ones and friends were brought from one room and set in front of the birthday boy and girl. Gifts galore were laid before Peyton and Taylor. Paper ripping, Mom trying to read the cards out loud, as chaos began to overtake order.

Soon, I began to feel a bit uncomfortable. I mean in the history of my childhood birthdays combined, I never received the amount of gifts that were hurriedly torn open and put to the side in piles as yet another present was being unwrapped. I don’t fault the parents or those who attended the party. They just did what you do generally when you’re invited to a kid’s birthday celebration…you bring along a gift. My troubled feelings were a result of wondering what expectations the children (or any child in a similar scenario) would have down life’s road.

Later on, when things quieted down somewhat, I went outside and found a comfortable lawn chair to relax in. In was a beautiful May day and I wanted to take some of it in. Soon my nephew, Tom, joined me. Tom is the father of Peyton and Taylor. We talked nonsense for a bit, ribbing one another about the state of our manhood, something guys just do. After a healthy time of sarcasm and cutting one another low, we got serious and began to talk of spiritual things. As our conversation progressed, I glanced down to the right side of my chair. There, sitting on the ground in a warn patch of what use to be lawn, was Peyton. In his hand he had old wooden spoon clutched tightly. Peyton was industriously digging a small hole in the ground, scooping up spoonfuls of dirt and emptying each “load” in a pile next to him. As I watched what Peyton was doing, I found myself laughing.

All the new toys just moments ago that were unwrapped, all the dollars spent for that “special gift”,  were at least momentarily outweighed by an old wooden spoon, a bare spot on the lawn, and a contented little boy whose imagination was running wild.

There’s hope after all.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  1 Timothy 6:6-8


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