Watching a school soccer game where my oldest grandson was playing with incredible skill and calm, I almost missed the happenings on the sideline where the younger grands were almost as entertaining.

Callum and Mason are only four months apart, and both are mini-moving masses of curiosity and purposefulness.

Their purpose? To create concern for parents who must be focused on watching where they are.

Neither of the boys understands potential problems.

A glance away may mean ingesting a leaf and choking. Watching the game momentarily may lead to a quick crawl toward the field and flying balls.

Diligence is the key.

Callum, being older and bigger, will crawl over Mason. Or reach a hand to poke at a shiny eye or try a finger in an open mouth.

Both boys have teeth. Neither realizes how hard they’re able to bite.

Sloane at 2 1/2 is stronger, bigger, and faster than seven-month-old Ward. She hugs him with an intensity that demonstrates deep sisterly love.

And no comprehension that she’s more powerful and energetic than her little brother.

My three grandsons in Pennsylvania are a rough and tumble group. Mack, at eleven months, has a ways to go to keep up with older brothers Huck and Landry, who are constant-motion machines. They are adventurers who climb, jump and try anything. They need to be watched because they have so much courage and so little fear.

It doesn’t stop when we become adults. While John was in the hospital, the cardiologist asked him, “Do you have a stressful job?”

He grinned at the doctor. “I’m not a stressful person.”

He is calm, and I rely on that when I get all bothered and angsty.

He really didn’t answer the question.

Life is full of stress. Like most everyone, I plow through, doing what needs to be done, handling what needs to be handled, and not being diligent about the bigger picture.

Christmas happened to remind us that this isn’t all there is.

Living without paying attention to the consequences of our choices can be dangerous. It’s foolish not to consider how we live. What we count as important to us. What absorbs our time and treasure.

This world is full of sadness and unfairness that touches all of us. Jesus’ coming to earth reminds us that life here is a blip in eternity. He came with the focus on forever, the “where” that each of us will be spending it.

We have the option of choosing.

I can be diligent about making sure my house is clean, taking care of those I love, doing my work with excellence. But if I ignore the state of my soul, my good intentions mean nothing.

I’ll never be good enough for heaven.

It’s easy to focus on what I’m confronted with now. The urgent is so compelling.

Jesus’ appearance, God coming here as Man, brought the reality of a greater hope for all who will listen.

We can choose His hope.

Diligence is only as effective as the end game on which we focus.

Ask any parent.

 

 

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