The other day I was cleaning my office and happened to find a small box I had forgotten about, but the moment I held it within my hand I knew exactly what was in it.
When I was a child my parents divorced and I became one of the many children who would visit their father every now and again. I lived a few hours drive from him so he always planned something special for the two of us to do, and one of his favorite things was breakfast at SAMBOS. I can still remember the outside of the building, the smell of the parking lot, and how the two of us never sat within a booth, but sat at the counter where we could talk to the waitress. My favorite part of going to SAMBOS was the waitress (I wish I could remember her name.) She would give me a SAMBOS Round Tuit each time we were paying our bill and she always said to me, “Honey, next time your dad brings you in you give me back this Round Tuit and I’ll give you a free scoop of ice cream instead of a free cup of coffee!”
It’s interesting because I never got around to it! I never traded in my Round Tuit’s for ice cream, but rather saved each one. I remember the first Round Tuit I received and how special I felt having something to look forward to, but then when my next visit arrived and the waitress asked, “Honey, now where’s that Round Tuit I gave you last month? You have to trade me the little wooden round thing for a bowl of ice cream.”
“No thank you. I want to keep my wooden round thing.”
“Oh, is that the problem. You want one to keep?” She then handed me another one and told me upon my next visit I could trade it for a nice big bowl of ice cream, but when the next month rolled around she asked me if I had my Round Tuit and I replied, “No thank you. I want to keep my wooden round things.”
Months went by and while my father and I were having breakfast he got up and went to the bathroom and that is when the waitress noticed that I was sitting alone… “I’ve never met a child who didn’t want a free bowl of ice cream! Don’t you like ice cream?”
“Yes. I love ice cream!”
“Than how come you never accept the trade?”
I never answered her, but smiled and she walked away.
For the past few days I’ve been looking at the box of Round Tuits and I finally realized why I never traded them in for a bowl of ice cream.
I didn’t want the ice cream, but I loved the round wooden things. I collected them, and after each visit I would place them in my tiny box. It was such a grand reminder of how many times during the year that I got to see my father. It wasn’t until the visits stopped where I put them in my safe place, and it wasn’t until the other day where I learned the lesson of why God put it in my heart to collect them.
In order for people to have relationships with those they love and care about one truly has to get AROUND TO IT, because without action, relationships get placed within a tiny box, and eventually become nothing more than a tiny memory.
The interesting part of this appointment is that God put it on my heart to read Matthew 19, and what I found was Jesus teaching about marriage and divorce. It’s interesting how snap-dab-in-the-middle of the chapter is where Jesus says,
“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. Matthew 19:13-15
I’m so glad that Jesus got around to sharing such words of wisdom because it’s really true. The day my father left is the day I got around to it and asked him if he believed in God. When he answered, “yes” he did exactly what Jesus wanted him to do. He didn’t hinder me getting to know God.
It’s interesting how it only took 37 years for me to understand why God asked me to not trade in my wooden round things, and I’m so grateful that God finally got around to it, and shared with me why!
ONWARD TO PASSING ON MY ROUND TUITS!