Going For A Long Walk

By Vince Hefner
Type: Devotion
Subject: Love; Sacrifice; Parenting

Going For A Long Walk

Dr. Vincent Hefner, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Cherryville, N.C.

Now that I have 10 grandchildren, I have the pleasure to watch my children grow as parents and deal with issues that I had to deal with when I was a young parent. Just to let you know, I believe grandparenting is a great deal easier and more enjoyable than parenting! I am interested in seeing how my children respond when they have to answer questions and make decisions concerning their children. Parenthood is never as easy as it looks and must be experienced firsthand to get the full effect of being called, “Dad or Mom.”

This thought takes me back to a time when my children were small, and I had to deal with their first attempts into growing up. I picked up my twin daughters after school and was ambushed by a well thought out plan to get something they thought they wanted. The conversation started out civil enough when they buckled themselves into their seatbelts. After exchanging the pleasantries of the day, one of the girls asked me a question to which they already had the answer. “Daddy, can we have a hamster? Mom took us to a pet store and they had a special on hamsters and a starter kit and everything.” Then the other daughter said, “Mom was okay with the hamster if you are okay with it!” I must give my daughters credit, they had put a lot of thought into their plan.

First, they knew the place they needed to go to buy what they wanted.

Second, they knew the price and that it was on sale.

Third, they already had permission from Mom.

A normal man would have given up, but I was not willing to be outwitted by two kids. I scrambled for a good defense. “Girls, hamsters smell, and their cages also smell with those cedar shavings that you must put into the cage.” They became quiet at this statement. Both girls had weak stomachs and the thought of any bad odor placed them in a tailspin. Then I said, “You know that Maggie (our cat) would be highly offended at the presence of this creature in your room! Not only would Maggie see this as affront to her domain, she would also see this as a possible late-night entree.” However, they were not willing to go out into that “good night” of defeat so quickly. They dropped the hamster idea and said, “What about a bird?” “Too messy,” I replied, “and Maggie would really be upset by a bird in the house.” Then one of the girls said, “You know Maggie is almost 40 years old in cat years!” Now the conversation has taken a new and unexpected twist. “How do you know that Maggie is almost 40 and what is wrong with that?” (I was 38 years-old at the time) They told me that they had bought a book at the supermarket about cats and had figured up Maggie’s age and thought that she was not going to last much longer. Now I’m depressed. The other girl speaks up, “When Maggie dies I don’t want to know. Just tell me that she has taken a long walk.” Now I’m really depressed. “Honey, we will get another cat when Maggie dies,” I quickly offered. Then the other girl spoke up, “We don’t want another cat, it hurts too bad when they die.” Now I am way passed depressed. I asked them if they would rather live without something and miss out on the joy that it brings than to feel bad when it dies. They didn’t respond to my question, thank goodness.

How many people refuse to love because they are afraid of being rejected, disappointed, or hurt? They choose to live their lives at arms length from the rest of the world, not willing to let anyone get too close to them. I can’t imagine a worse existence. God did not create us to turn inward but outward. Yes, it hurts when we lose someone we love, but not loving because of the pain of loss is too high of a price to pay. I am so thankful that Jesus did not count the cost too high when He died for mankind, for you and for me. Make sure that you have accepted His love for you and that you share His love with others. Don’t be in denial about His love for you and your need for His love to share with others. Remember; don’t give in to sin. Think about it!