Yesterday our three-year-old grandson and I walked down a sidewalk in nearby Cookeville. It is a pretty little block in an historic district. Many of the stores have inset entrances.
As I tried to hold his hand, he told me that he wanted to go “in these.” In other words, he didn’t want to walk straight down the sidewalk to our destination. He wanted to go inside each entrance. He was especially excited when he came to a wide entrance that was a step up from the sidewalk. He grinned up at me to show me how he could walk with his left foot on the sidewalk and his right foot on the step.
The scene took me back to childhood memories I may never have thought of again. I had a vague recollection of enjoying entrances like these myself once upon a time.
That recollection was vague, but I often remember the joy of childhood walks. I remember trying to miss the cracks in the sidewalk in my hometown. I also remember the joy of walking on a wall or some other high place while holding on to an adult’s hand. What fun that was!
I’m glad my parents didn’t make me walk down sidewalks the “right” way. I’m glad they gave me the freedom to have fun in those simple ways.
Life — and education — can be like our grandson’s walk down the sidewalk. He and I knew where we were headed and we got there, but a three-year-old’s thinking made the journey more fun.
This reminds me of the way Jesus lived. He knew where He was headed and He got there, but He also had time to talk to Zaccheus in the sycamore tree (Luke 19:1-10) and to Matthew in the tax-collector booth (Luke 5:27-28) and to heal a very sick woman who interrupted Him on His way to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:20-22) and to wash His disciples feet on the night He was arrested (John 13:1-5).
It also reminds me of how God wanted the Israelites to teach their children His way:
You shall therefore impress these words of mine
on your heart and on your soul;
and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
You shall teach them to your sons,
talking of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk along the road
and when you lie down and when you rise up.