My little grandson is 17 months at the time of this post. He’s a little bundle of busy curiosity and I can hardly keep up. Today, I scooped him up and headed to the backyard where his Papa has built a sandbox. Under the tan umbrella, is an array of bright colored plastic sand toys just waiting for play. But he barely noticed them as his two chubby hands plunged into the warm powdery sand, pulling out two fists full. He immediately raised them high into the air and down came the sprinkling of granules through those little fingers, into his hair, on his lap, his legs and toes. He squealed.
I quickly warned him to be careful, as it seemed the wind was coming from all directions and I didn’t want sand to get blown into his eyes. But he didn’t know what I was saying. He was too busy having fun and grabbed two more fists full to repeat his fun exercise. Just then, as his hands were again high above his head – a gust of wind puffed through and sent his stream of grainy delight right into his face. Thank goodness I could grab and turn him before it got into his eyes, but still, the warning was just. The wind blew. The sand went everywhere. He’ll soon learn that the wind is part of the sandbox experience.
When you’re in a sandbox, there’s gonna be sand that blows in your face at times. The best way to avoid it, of course, is to either get out of the sandbox, or simply turn your back to the wind. Because even if you don’t touch it, the wind will eventually stir it up and soon you’ll find your teeth on gritty edge. Or, on ruder occasions, someone will intentionally throw it directly in your face. In any case, it’s a variable, so just accept the good with the bad and be prepared.
Isn’t that true with life as well? We’re all in this sandbox. We can’t exactly leave it, but we can learn how to spend our time here in the box. The scripture says that the foolish man built his house on the sand. I think of that like he built his life on his own reasoning, his own thoughts. Our thoughts and our ways are like shifting sand. Only God our Creator’s way is stable. A solid rock. And last time I checked, there’s only ONE Rock.
Sand, like the thoughts we’ve had or that others have spoken to us, can be the source of delight, irritation or pain. The winds of emotion blow and these tiny grains come flying. I’ve got to admit, I’ve had many a hard time getting over certain words that have blown in my face and on my head. I can play them and replay them in my mind till it hurts. When I do this, like sand in my eyes, I’m focusing on things that are hurting me instead of turning around – doing what I can do to help my situation. I can’t do anything about the wind or others who choose to throw sand, but checking which way my eyes are facing and being careful that the sand in my hands doesn’t blow in someone else’s face is my responsibility.
Just like I tried to warn Wyatt about the wind, Our Heavenly Father lovingly warns us about this in His word, to be careful how we treat others. But like my little grandson, many of us are so busy doing what we want to do that we don’t hear or understand what He’s saying. And sadly, most of the time, it’s not until the sand is in our eyes, that we turn and cry for help. We learn the hard way, but hopefully we do eventually learn.
The point is, we can enjoy the sandbox for what it is. We can also be careful to turn our focus away when the wind blows and remember to keep our fists low so that others aren’t affected by what’s in our hands.
It’s a bit gusty in my sandbox today. I think I’ll turn my back to the wind, kiss the top of Wyatt’s tossled vanilla head and sink my pink polish toes in next to his. Life is good! 🙂