Playing with purpose

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Thanking GOD for Lemonade

During a required training class for all licensed Colorado Childcare Providers, we were told that it was imperative that we made sure during the early years of development that the children did not have negative experiences because it would interfere with the proper development of mental synapses. Never say no, or never.

We had been carefully admonished to not ask questions during the lessons for this apparently altered the schedule of the class. They would try and address our questions at the class’s conclusion. I tried.

The advice to stop teaching children to write in cursive was silly enough, but the brain synapses development plan was much too ridiculous to ignore. My hand shot up high. “When,” I asked, “do we teach the children to take the lemons in life and make lemonade?” Deep rumbles rolled through the room. I wasn’t the only one who thought what was passing for training was, itself, failed synapses development. The instructors refused to answer.

Earlier today I had occasion to visit with a young man I had not seen since the beginning of the year. The sadness and defeat seem to hang about him as he walked around. His discomfort was evident. I began talking about the season of crazy that seems to have gripped many in my family and slowly he began to unwind. He was deep in pain from his family’s betrayal and rejection. Even his beloved parents. He felt alone, boxed in and neglected. I have no doubt he was truly hurt and stymied by what was happening to him and his two small boys.

While praying I shared with him the one thing that played upon my heart. I said. “You know people belong to GOD. When they get too crazy, I just return to the sender. People are GOD’s to fix not mine.”

I hoped he could filter past all the recommended responses that are laid out, particularly for young males. Young people seem to assume their deliverance is connected to their strength. Their personal vitality. But what that means is GOD must move you from your own silliness before He can deal with the foolishness of those who have harmed you. Whether the young man knew it or not wasn’t clear, but GOD remains faithful and prayer is a powerful tool.

His sadness reminded me of that old training class. It also awakened my appreciation for lemonade. Making lemonade is all about taking the sour and making it sweet and appetizing. Making it a delicious beverage to be consumed in large satisfying gulps. Ending with the thirst saturating clink of ice cubes in the bottom of the glass. The hotter the day the more refreshing the lemonade.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to be a great lemonade maker. I have learned when you make good lemonade you want to share it with everyone. Even those who brought the lemons.


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