I was in Target recently, shopping in the athletic wear, when a conversation in the next aisle made me lose all interest in gym shorts. In stead of outfitting my son for track, what I wanted to do was go find this little girl, who was talking to her mom. She was like an anomaly to me, and I wanted to see what she looked like.
Everything her mom said seemed was a novel ‘best idea ever’ to this child. If the mom said, “Honey, I don’t think you should hang on the end of the cart like that,” the daughter said, “Ok, Mommy! Dat’s a good idea.” If the Mom said, “Can you get your brother’s pacifier out of the bag for him?” the daughter said, “Oh… yes! I found it here in da pocket! He woves his pacifier.”
She was giggling. She was cheerful. She was absolutely delightful.
I thought about stealing her, so that I could keep her little cheerful soul beside me always, but then I decided that might ruin the effect.
Today is a jam packed day for our family. We have lacrosse and track practice, a water polo game, a jazz concert, small group, and a trip to the airport. Then tomorrow is more of the same. To encourage my kids and get them focused for the demands of the day, I read Philippians 2:14-16. I told them, ‘Today, I want you to shine like the stars of the universe–like the verses said. And did you catch how the Bible said you could do that?”
Nope. They hadn’t.
So I read the beginning part again: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.”
I thought of the little girl in Target. My highschooler doesn’t have to share the four spiritual laws to be a good testimony. My middle schooler doesn’t have to have the cross tattooed on his arm to be set apart. My fourth grader doesn’t have to recite Bible verses in order to point others to Jesus.
In a world where everyone is complaining and disputing–a cheerful soul draws us. We hear it and look around to find the source. Wait; someone here is agreeable? Someone is positive? Our interest is piqued. We want to push our cart in their direction. We turn our eyes toward that bright spot against a dark canvas. Our hearts are quizzical and open.
Which shows me that maybe being a light in the world isn’t as hard as we thought. Even a child can “Do all things without grumbling and questioning.”