Birthday parties for kids are all about fun, food, and a lot of the foolish adults don’t often appreciate.

Ryken recently turned five. A huge number in a young life–new beginnings, feelings of independence, an “I can do” attitude. He’s very self-aware, of his likes, dislikes, abilities, dreams.

A little further along in those areas than I am.

His desire for a party? A Yoshi/Mario party, with a pinata covered with those images.

John and I finally found a pinata with all the characters of the Mario brand plastered front and back. Narrow in width, flat, and long. It appeared to be something that would easily be crushed by the ramped-up energy of a five-year-old.

Since this was more a family gathering with “adopted” kids added in, we all played games. My favorite? A type of pin the tail on the donkey, with stars needing to be pinned on Mario’s special galaxy. Ryken, ever-observant, peeked through the provide cardboard mask to specifically place his star where it needed to be.

Gotta love a kid with purpose.

When pinata time came, the candy-filled Mario contraption was hung on the swingset, ready for the littles to take a swing at breaking it. Ryken went first, whacking it with a plastic bat with the power candy-driven dreams are made of. Isley went next, thinking logically and wanting to hit it with a long wooden stick.

That would have ended the fun too quickly. She batted with the plastic. No dents yet.

When the pinata finally fell from where it hung, the kids resorted to beating it as if it had become an attacking animal. They switched up the plastic bat for the wooden stick, smacking, stabbing, piercing it with a vengeance.

It broke open. There was no way it wouldn’t.

The mad dash for candy sent sugar limits out the window.

It was, after all, a party.

Ryken then opened his gifts. His joy was contagious; he marveled at each present–mostly because all of them were things he wanted. Gratitude ran high as he graciously thanked everyone for what they’d given him.

Except us. Our gift was lost somewhere in Amazon Land and hadn’t arrived yet. His birthday would be extended another day or two.

He did call the next day to see if it arrived yet. Slightly driven by desire.

We all have an agenda we follow, whether it’s overt and obvious or more of the “just under the radar” type. We have an internal beat we follow that allows us to finish the things we start that are important to us and pursue the things that mean something to us.

What drives you?

For me, it’s knowing that I’ve been created intentionally by a loving God, and His message of love and forgiveness is never neutral. I’ve chosen an agenda that can cause personal rejection, consistent misunderstanding, an uncomfortable presence. The beat I march to isn’t my own. It’s a rhythm set by Jesus Himself.

No excuses. I am who I am. Even in times of worry, concern, or fear, that beat in my heart never stops. Because He’s with me.

I don’t have to break anything open for that reward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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