When Is It Not Good To Hit A Pony?

photo-2Isley, my granddaughter, just turned three.

Of course she’s anticipated three since right after her second birthday. But now she gets to add that third finger, and all is right with the world.

A family party was held to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Games were planned. A cake was made to look like a turtle. (She dearly loves turtles.) Presents were bought and wrapped in Christmas paper. (A family birthday. We don’t hassle with details.)

And at the last minute, Isley’s mom bought a pinata shaped like My Little Pony.

Isley loves My Litte Pony. Especially Pinky Pie. Which happened to be the image of the little pink pony hanging from the rope.

So imagine her chagrin when the game turned out to be smacking the pony pinata till it broke. Forget the fact that it was filled with candy. Forget the fact that everyone was jumping up and down and screaming to pop the pink mass of paper mache. She had no context for this game.

Her brothers and sister showed her how to hold the bat so she could take a swing at the pony. She looked at them skeptically, then took a gently swing. The pony moved. Not much.

She dropped the bat and stepped away. No harm done.

Her squeamishness didn’t keep anyone else from whacking the pony. Her siblings seemed especially delighted in walloping Pinky Pie.

Isley stood there, her hands covering her mouth. Her eyes looked like saucers.

Then it happened. The thing that’s supposed to happen when you have a pinata.  It broke. And candy spilled everywhere.

And Isley still stood there, watching.

Her mom grabbed her hand and helped her gather a few pieces of candy before her siblings got it all. But her heart wasn’t in it.

She kept looking at Pinky Pie lying on the floor. A leg dangling off to the side. A hole in the bottom. Broken.

Her parents kindly put the pony back together. This, however, will go down in the family annals as the time we successfully–and unintentionally–traumatized a three year old.

Who would have thought our plan for fun would have turned out so badly?photo-1

My best intentions often turn out poorly. I don’t consider the risks, the consequences, the people involved, and I then hurt those I love. My heart is to encourage others, to impart hope and joy. Too often, I find my intentions looking like that broken pony. A good idea that didn’t work.

But there is One whose intentions always work out as He determined they would. Not a level of success we could ever hope to achieve.

“Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. BUT GOD SHOWED HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US BY SENDING CHRIST TO DIE FOR US WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS.”   Romans 5:7-8

Our best efforts often leave brokenness and pain in our wake.

God’s best provides life and hope. Always.

I’ll choose to play it His way.

11 responses to “When Is It Not Good To Hit A Pony?”

  1. Fodder for her future LEAF experience right? 😉 I love reading your blog, friend!


    1. You are too kind. I miss you, my friend.


  2. Wow! You brought back some childhood memories. Probably all of us have suffered some similar unintentional slight — and unfortunately inflicted them as well. I’m so grateful God never does that!


    1. Scary, isn’t it? Our experiences in life so often reflect harshness and we make it fun. Makes me think of the nursery rhyme, “Three Blind Mice.”


  3. I’ve often wondered who was the genius that invented the game where you blindfold children and give them bats to swing blindly at beloved mascots!? 🙂 Living in Mexico, I have seen this scenario played out many a time… my children learned early to duck below the child-wielded guillotine and spread their arms wide to vacuum up as much candy as possible. Ha! Thanks for teaching us sweet lessons thru your stories!


    1. I love how you put that–child-wielded guillotine! What a picture! Thanks for taking the time to respond so encouragingly.


  4. God always “one-ups” me, thank goodness!


    1. Ain’t it the truth?


  5. I’ve been meditating on the identical idea personally recently. Happy to see a person on the same wavelength! Nice article.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to tell me!


    2. Thanks for taking the time to tell me!


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