24 Inches

How great is the gap between a grandfather and his grandchildren?  I was surprised to discover that it is much less than I thought.

 

Susie and I spent Christmas with four of our nine wonderful grandchildren.  I often wondered how they perceived the old guy in the chair reading the paper with the television volume set too high.

 

Whenever one of them would pass my way, I would reach out for a hug or a high five only to be ignored too often.  At first I thought the age gap was the problem and resigned myself to playing the role of the old-guy-to-be-ignored.  Then I discovered the big secret.

 

The real problem was the 24 inch gap separating me in the chair from the little guys on the floor.  When I slipped off the chair onto the floor, I became part of their world.  They tempted me with books and toys which turned into tickles, hugs and so much more.  All of a sudden, I became something to crawl over or use as a cushion.  I loved it.

 

On the other hand, I must admit it was much more comfortable sitting in my favorite chair which has molded to my body through the years.  I thought that reading the same book eight times in a row was a little overkill.  Just when I finished preparing a toy for them to use, they demanded another one.  I soon began to feel the roles had been reversed.  Where was the respect and accommodation for the old guy in the chair (who paid for most of the toys)?

 

Then, it hit me.  This is exactly what Jesus did to close the eternal gap between God and me.  He left the glory of heaven for humility on earth, waits patiently for me to understand the Book, endures my flipping from one worthless priority to another and waits for me to grant the respect he deserves.  Yet, he was still willing to joyfully slip out of his chair and sit on my floor.

 

Does God expect less from me?  While I claim that I want to make a difference in the lives of others, I remain in my chair.  My family and friends look up and wonder why I won’t come down and play with them.  Am I too old or just too selfish?  As I sit in my comfortable chair, someone else wins the battle for their souls.

 

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