I AM -Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Game”

 

A pick-up truck pulls up and parks near the fence. A moment passes and three more pickup trucks pull up and park beside the first one. Close behind a car speeds across the gravel and slides to a stop. More cars and trucks arrive and before long the parking area is almost full.

Suddenly screaming kids are throwing open vehicle doors and running toward the fence. They gather together and are talking and laughing. One throws a ball to another. These little guys are decked out in their little blue and white uniforms with “Fireballs” stamped across the front and their name, in large letters, on the back.

They’re fired up and ready to play ball. They stand together and wait for the Coach to arrive while their parents take seats on the bleachers and chat with one another. A mother stares worriedly at her young son. He’s just joined the team after crying and begging to play with the other players. She argued for days with her husband that he’d be hurt, but finally gave in.

Little Sammy is strutting about the other boys slamming his fist into the mitt that is much too large for his small hand, just like his Dad does. Mom has to grin and then laughs out loud when the glove flies off his hand when he “takes the stance” and tries to sock the mitt harder.

Suddenly a truck pulls up and the Coach steps out. The kids roar and run to Him for their assigned positions. He greets each one joyfully and tussles each head of hair and tells each what position they are to play and the game starts.

“Strike one!” The Ref. yells. The crowd groans.

“Strike two!

“That was a good ball! You’re nuts, Ref!” A Dad yells from the stands.

“Strike three!” The Ref yells throwing his arm in the air.

The boy quickly glances up to the stands at his father as his father swears under his breath and throws his soda can down on the ground angrily.

The ball game continues and after the last inning all the boys run to the Coach laughing and yelling. They’ve had so much fun and in their joy and excitement the Coach finds Himself on the ground laughing with a bunch of little boys piled on top of Him.

***

Luke 18:16 – “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

***

A child’s laughter is infectious. The joy that bubbles up from within a child touches God’s heart like no other. Watching small children at play can be medicine for our soul. To see a group of youngsters having fun and being the child God created them to be is a blessing to all who watch – except some adults. Too many times there are some parents that press their distorted values onto their children. Dad wanted to be a great ball player and by hell or high water his son will be, whether he wants to be or not! How sad that some press their desires, live their lives, through their child. Let us look within and see what it is that we are doing to our offspring. Are we living a lost childhood through them or allowing their God-given talents, gifts, and innocence to be expressed in their play? Children are God’s gifts. Give them to Him and watch their joy spring forth.

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