Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion January 11, 2017

What a glorious morning!

My husband and I have been watching our young granddaughter since last week - which by the way explains why this devotion is so late… 
I realized I raised three children but that seems like eons ago.  I am not sure what the disconnect is between the 30 years ago when our youngest was born and we had two other children already and it seems like things went along pretty smoothly most of the time and I was, I guess, pretty organized because there came a time when the children were still relatively young and I went back to work.  And my husband was working and we were involved in various activities that were not work related and very involved in our church and the older kids were dancing and swimming and playing soccer - and somehow everything got done; my house was even relatively clean and I think we also had several pets…
And now the two of us have one grandchild and we seem to be completely overwhelmed with the task of caring for her.  Not that she is hard to take care of or that she is really a problem - it just seems like our whole day now is consumed with taking care of the granddaughter and there doesn't seem to be time for anything else!  
From the first thing in the morning until well into the evening hours, the granddaughter is the focus of what we do.
One of the habits we have begun, which one could argue was not the smartest move we could have made, was to go each day to the children’s playground at the mall.  It is really cold outside so our previous habit of going to a playground each day was not possible (we can tell you every playground in our area as we have been to them all!) and so to the indoor one at the mall was the only option of which we were knowledgeable and it was there we would always be at some point in the day.  
The first day we went we made the error of going in the mall door by the Merry-Go-Round so guess what our first stop was on the way to the playground…..  We previously had made the error of going in the door by the little train that runs around the mall so that day we had to ride the train.
Well we finally learned which door to enter the mall that landed us right by the playground and we weren’t caught by the cost you money entertainment features of the mall and allowed us to go to the not only free but the use up lots of energy attraction at the mall.
It is a very nice little playground and our granddaughter really enjoys it there and even better she uses up a large amount of energy running and climbing and just playing…..
So here is the point in the story where the fact that there is a train that kids ride that runs around the mall comes back into being an important part of the story.  The driver of the little train has the passengers in the train (and the driver guy does it himself) give people a high five as they go by.  So as the train is going through the mall, the driver and the passengers are reaching out their hands and high fiving as many people as they can which brings laughter and shrieks of delight by many of the younger children on the train!
And - the train driver makes sure the train goes around the playground where the children are (this is probably a great marketing move because I’m sure there are many children on the playground who end up going to ride the train after they get done playing!). 
The children on the playground are well trained because as soon as they hear the bell of the train as it comes toward the playground the children jump up on the bench that surrounds the playground, lean over and immediately ready themselves to high five all the people on the train!  
So you hear the bell, the children run to the bench, reach over the edge, high five everyone on the train and then as the train continues around the playground, the bell dings again and all the children run to the other side of the playground, climb up on the bench, reach their hands over the edge and high five everyone again!  
Occasionally the train driver will drive around the playground and second time and the same activity is repeated - the bell dings, the children run, and everyone gets high fived and repeat!
As I sat and watched this activity - more than once because we took the granddaughter to the mall playground a lot - I had this bit of a winsome feeling because I thought about the dinging of the bell and the running of the children which reminded me of Sunday mornings in my life which always included hearing the church bell ring as people entered into the sanctuary to worship God.  I guess the winsome feeling came from thinking about how wonderful it would be if Sunday mornings were like these children rushing to be able to respond to the train bell - what if when the church bells rang people would rush to the church so that they could have an opportunity to worship….. not coming because they had to or because they knew they should or because it was the thing to do or because they wanted others to see them there….. but to rush because you have an opportunity be with others who desire to worship God as well.
What if when the church bells rang we got as excited as children wanting to run and greet the train; if we got as giggly as children getting to high five because we were able to gather with others to worship a great and loving God…..