Determination and the tablecloth

By Beth Jayne
Special to The PREVIEW
Our first grandchild: A cuddly exuberant girl. And, once she was mobile, so were we.We had forgotten how quick 1-year-old creatures could move. Like most good grandparents, we kept her contained in her walker for as long as we could to keep track of her wanderings.
Besides us, she loved two things in our house. One was Chelsea, our patient 90-pound dog who let her pull on her ears. The other was a crocheted tablecloth in our bedroom. She was drawn to it like a magnet. It was humorous — until she started pulling on it. What she could neither see nor perceive on top of the table were a television, a lamp and a vase of flowers. She was strong in will and muscle, and severe damage to her head could easily ensue. Not wanting our cute little sweetie to be injured, when she neared that tablecloth we would whisk her away to some other activity that was hopefully more enticing and less dangerous.
Once it dawned on her that we were determined she would not to get near that table, the more determined and quickly she tried to reach it. So we just closed the door because she couldn’t reach the doorknob. But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t try. And in her little, not-so-quiet and not-so-easy to understand vocabulary, she would tell us her opinion about the closed door. It was quite comical. Perhaps she thought that we were mean, joyless ogres. But the door remained closed.
Caring for a toddler is an enjoyable full-time job requiring anticipation and energy. It makes me wonder what it must be like for God as I learn to walk around my life in this world. He has such great insight and foresight. My experience and perspective are not as mature as His. He sees the possible damaging consequences of my actions and tries to turn my attention to things that will not harm me. But sometimes I still want my way, and I voice my opinion about doors that close in my life. It can seem so unfair. But His love doesn’t mind if I don’t like it. He cares too much.
What doors are closed in my own life? What goal keeps getting frustrated? This might be God’s way of protecting me from something I can’t see. Like our grandchild, we are still learning. His ways really are higher than our ways. He has the bird’s-eye view. And His love is endless and tireless — even more than the love of a grandparent.

This story was posted on May 17, 2018.