I have a granddaughter, Vida. She will be two years old in a few days, but she already has achieved that “terrible, tremendous twos” status. I don’t fault her for this; it is developmentally expected and her environmental influences are very strong with two older brothers.
When I look at the sweet, smiling face, it is really hard to believe that she could also be angry, naughty or mischievous. I cannot imagine her hitting anyone or being selfish. But, in her young life, she has learned ways of communicating that leave no doubt as to what she is really saying.
Vida absolutely is in love with Woody and Jessie. She likes Buzz, too, but I think she really has a soft spot for Woody and Jessie. Not too long ago, we heard her wailing downstairs while watching Toy Story II. It took a few different viewings before our daughter figured out that Vida was responding to a sad song in the movie, when Jessie sings about her lost friend and the sorrow she feels at being left behind. Now, Jessie is a CHARACTER in a MOVIE, not a real person. Vida, a real person, is a small child. But somehow, that part of the movie just made my little granddaughter cry as if she had a broken heart that could not be mended. We were all sad with her when she cried.
Eventually, she learned how to watch that sad part of the movie without crying and has now learned something else from the movie. As I said earlier, she has two brothers. Like most older brothers, they maneuver toys away from her without her realizing that she’s been snookered. And once she realizes it, she gets a wee bit angry. I know it is hard to believe, but she actually knows how to try to hurt with her words–I saw it for myself just today.
Cadance (almost 4) wanted to take something from her. She was angry and tried to prevent the theft. When Cadance didn’t succeed, he tried to slap her arm, to which she yelled…
“YOU ARE A TOY!”
Wow. What an insult–inside, I was chuckling. But she was totally enraged and thought she was really telling her brother what she thought of him. Wouldn’t you like to be a toy?
As I thought about being a toy, I decided it was not the life for me. Imagine needing your string pulled just to talk? Or what if you needed new batteries, but your owner’s mom didn’t like how you sounded? Or what about losing a necessary part of your anatomy that you just couldn’t live without? Or worse still, as I learned from another mom, what if your owner’s mom decided she really didn’t like you at all and GAVE YOU A BATH that permanently and effectively destroyed any usefulness as a toy and that sent you out to the trash???
We are actually a lot like those toys. Who we choose to serve throughout our lives is just like our owner. We all make a choice–do we live for ourselves or do we live for our Creator? Do we allow God to leave His imprint on our lives in such a way that those around us do not have any doubt about our ownership? Like Woody had ‘Andy’ inscribed on his boot, is the mark of Jesus Christ imprinted in my heart? I want my life to reflect its true ownership–I have been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. I now choose to live my life for Him. And the big question will be–Is that apparent to those around me?>>
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ—that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.
It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth. For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfilment in him.