Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You Better Swing More Than That

My wife talked me into it. She said they needed a swing set. And I believed her. She said the kids would love it. It would keep them occupied. It would keep them in our back yard. And since I had tore down their previous metal set (circa 1992) when we moved, I felt compelled.

So we purchased a swing set that came in pieces delivered in three big boxes. We spent many hours sorting wood and nuts and bolts. I learned a new language known as written direction, probably jotted down by the last guy to ever successfully build this apparatus, one that Columbus might have been able to sail over on.

Then the building began. I read and I studied and I hammered and I drilled. I measured and I twisted and I cried and I wiped sweat from my brow. The first 146 steps went well, but did not produce anything that actually looked like a swing set.*

Entering the thirteenth hour of physical labor, with sweat pouring and appendages lost*, I was getting close. The kids were getting antsy, as the middle section of their fortress was complete. I only needed to add the outer sections, i.e. the stuff they would actually play on.

For the last two hours, the questions did not stop. 'Can we slide? Can we swing? Why is it taking so long?' As I brought down Thor's hammer* to another resistant nut I thought ahead to how much they would play out here and give me a break to check my Facebook.

At precisely 1:30 in the afternoon, I finished. Aside from my wife and some help, there was nobody there to celebrate this achievement of mine as my two girls were now watching cartoons and my son was playing video games.

Did I miss something? I lost blood over this ordeal.* I skipped meals.* I worked through the night.* I labored through sleet and snow and hail.*

Do my children actually know what they want? Then again, do I? I wonder if I sound like this to God when I ask Him for stuff. Do I stop to consider what I already have and what He has already given? Am I patient enough to wait for God's timing? As I continue to read through Old Testament history and the prophets, it occurs to me that I may sound just as whiny as they, crying to God in need and forgetting Him in plenty.

How about you? What do you have that you often overlook?

*Sarcasm used to the point that the story may not accurately represent reality.

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