A Stick Horse and a Box

Published 10:48 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

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In our world filled with high tech devices for all ages, there is still room for the simple and less complicated thrills of life. Our youngest grandchild gave me a fresh reminder of that one evening recently. As she ran around the house she decided to put a box on her head. With much laughter she sported the thing around and then when she found that she could position it so the hand holds of the box gave her an opening for her eyes the joy was really on. But that was not good enough; she had to get Papa in on the action as she put the thing on my head as her giggles flowed in great volume. Pride goes out the window when it comes to time spent with a four year old little girl who is always full of energy.

The box is not the only simple toy that she has discovered. From watching a movie about a horse (I believe its name is Spirit) she likes to pretend she is riding a horse; the arm of the couch or any other furniture in the house makes a fine ride as far as she is concerned. But to add to the fun, her daddy bought her a stick horse. She has galloped that stick horse over a lot of terrain in recent weeks and in her world of imagination it is as much enjoyment as a real horse—and a lot less trouble to keep up. In fact, she rode it so much that the head broke off. As is usual with my grandchildren, the solution for broken toys is to bring it to Papa for repairs and so she did.

There was not much to work with, but I finally got the horse’s head on fairly securely and it looked almost new again. Raegan was happy to have her ride back but unfortunately she tried to use it for a dog deterrent and it was more than the applied epoxy could withstand. Her sister has a little dog that likes to chase after and nip at the ankles of anybody in sight, which horrifies Raegan. In her attempt to discourage the dog from nipping at her she used the stick horse as a defensive weapon. I’m not sure if it slowed the dog down or not but her report to her mother about the horse was “It broke”. At least I tried!

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We would all benefit from taking time away from complicated things around us and learn to once again better appreciate the less complex things that God has placed here for us to enjoy.

When Christ was on earth teaching, it was not unusual for Him to refer to simple things in life and nature to make powerful spiritual points. An example is from His Sermon on the Mount as He addressed the topic of worry. As a reminder to His hearers of the futility of worrying about things over which they had no control, He invited them to consider some things in nature: the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. In Matthew 6:26 He invited them to “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (New International Version). He went on to remind them (and us) in verses 28-29 of His provisions for nature and humankind: “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

There is no doubt that we live in a complicated world. Even so, we should slow down and look at the birds and the flowers and remember God’s provisions. And for those who are brave enough, spend some time with a child; put a box on your head and take a whirl on a stick horse. It might do you more good than you think!