‘I’ve got a G.I. Joe’: Learning from our mistakes

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW

It was Saturday morning and Travis, my 2-year old, couldn’t wait to run a few errands with me. First stop, the bank’s drive-through to withdraw cash for the week. On a tight budget, I paid cash for everything. There were a couple of cars in front of me, but a few extra minutes in line eliminated the need to take Travis inside.

Next stop, the neighborhood Super Center. Travis didn’t like the restrictions of the cart and begged to walk. He headed straight to the toy section and stood in front of the G.I. Joe action figures. They were his favorite, and on all his birthday and Christmas wish lists.

I wanted to buy him something, but he had two sisters at home with wish lists. His birthday was a few weeks away and he would get his G.I. Joe then.

I finished shopping and headed to the checkout lane as I glanced over my list. Without saying a word, Travis walked beside me. He took my hand as I pushed the cart out the door and toward the car.

I opened the back door and Travis climbed into the back seat and buckled up while I placed the sacks in the trunk. He enjoyed doing things for himself. He was growing up way too fast.

I slid into the driver’s side, turned the ignition and put the car in reverse. I could hear Travis singing in the back seat.

“I’ve got an E-I-O; I’ve got an E-I-O.”

I looked in the rearview mirror. Travis waved a G.I. Joe back and forth in his hand, a smile of satisfaction on his face.

When did he get that? He must have hidden it inside his coat.

Shocked, I took a deep breath and turned off the ignition. Travis in tow, we walked back into the store. The manager on duty stood in the aisle. I held Travis’ hand as he surrendered the action figure. The manager looked at both of us. “What’s this about?”

Travis apologized.

The manager said, “It’s unusual for a parent to bring a child back to return a toy. I guess they think it’s only a toy.”

I knew it was more. It was a learning opportunity. A G.I. Joe action figure became a teaching tool in honesty and good choices.

Travis now shares the G.I. Joe experience with his children and uses it as an opportunity to teach them the same principles he learned as a child.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” — Proverbs 22:6 (KJV).

Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and share with others.

I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

Writers’ group

You are invited to write for “A Matter of Faith.”

If you want to learn more about writing, come and join the Wolf Creek Christian Writers Network Writers’ Critique Group on Monday mornings. For further details, email betty@bettyslade.com.

Visit our website at http://www.wolfcreekwriters.com/ or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wolfcreekchristianwritersnetwork/.

This story was posted on August 18, 2016.