The Gremlin Blues!
If you own a minivan that means you probably have children. Nobody decides they wanted a mini-van because they like the look. Like many mini-van owners, I am embarrassed to remember back to my naive 20′s swearing boldly how I would never own a mini-van. I would say something brash like, “I would rather walk with my children on my back than to have them suffer the emotional and social damage of being seen in a mini-van.” I think this stems from the fact that my parents owned a GMC Gremlin when we were growing up. No, I am not kidding. Well, not only do we own a mini-van, this is our 3rd one.
Petrified Peanut Butter
I must admit that I love my Honda Odyssey and couldn’t imagine my life without it. However, my least favorite reality of owning a minivan is cleaning the sucker out. Now, I realize the Hill Circus-7 (Soon to be the Circus-8) is little different than most families, because Rachel and I have 5 children, 8 years old and under. (Yes, I know what causes that.) So, recently I went to go clean out the Hill-Van and you can only imagine what I found in the back seats: Baby bottles, legos, crayons, happy meal toys, happy meal food, stuffed animals, candy canes, a homework folder that belonged to some kid named Mark and much more. And, as you can imagine, with every lego and petrified peanut butter sandwich I found I grew more and more frustrated at the mess my children, and Mark, had created.
By the time I reached the front seats I was mildly upset. I was thinking about the new “van-rules” I was going to put in place about bringing food, toys and anyone named Mark in the van. I turned on the radio to relax a bit and reached under the passenger seat to finish up the van and I felt something. It was… You guessed it, a coffee cup. Not just one coffee cup either. When it was all said and done I pulled out 6 empty crushed (paper) coffee cups, a computer cable, a book that I had been missing for weeks and a pair of sunglasses. That’s when Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) came flooding into my head, “…You hypocrite, first take the coffee cup out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the lego from your son’s eye.” Ok, maybe that’s not exactly how the verse goes but you get my point.
I am trying a little harder these days to really know myself. My prayer, as I quickly approach 40, is that God and His Spirit would help me to be honest, with myself and Him, about my strengths, weaknesses, boundaries, limitations, selfish behavior and motivations. My hope is that if I really understand how selfish I can be it will flavor my all of my conversations with others with patience love and understanding, especially a kid with no homework folder named Mark.