Reaching

I think I first heard the insult from one of my brothers.  He didn’t make it up himself.

Maybe you’ve heard it, too.

“Well, I. . .”

“That’s a deep subject—for such a shallow mind.”

It was funny the first twenty times. Eventually, I learned to start my sentences without the mention of the water source.

I thought about it again today when my young friend interrupted my monologue about some things I’ve been pondering recently.

“Those are some big thoughts you’ve been having, Paul.”

In my head, I immediately finished the idea for him.  

. . .for such a tiny brain.

He didn’t say the words and probably didn’t even think them, but still—I couldn’t help but wonder.  The red headed lady who raised me used to say it differently.

“You’re getting a little too big for your britches, Bub.”

It’s a funny thing, though.  I remember her buying me bigger pants when I outgrew the ones I was wearing.  Same thing with shoes, and shirts.

She didn’t want me to stay a small person.  From her diminutive height of five feet and four inches she looked up to her taller sons, two of us eventually reaching six feet, with pride.

She never wanted anything else but for us to grow.  She never wanted anything less than for us to reach further.

Parents are like that, you know.

Somehow, much of society wants nothing more than to pull us back into the teeming mass of the everyday.

Don’t get above your roots!

Remember where you came from!

Time and time again, the crowd pulls us down and reminds us that we need to fit in—to conform.

Ah, but I remember being in crowds with my Dad.  When you’re a kid, crowds are a pain.  You can’t see anything—can’t get anywhere.

stack-1230254_640But, with Dad, all I had to do was ask and, within seconds I was sitting on his shoulders, above the crowd.  No more looking through legs and around fat torsos.  No more stumbling and being shoved.

Parents are like that, you know.

But the day comes when the child is too big to sit on shoulders, too heavy to be carried through the crowd.  By then, they’ve learned to stand on their own feet and to see far ahead of the crowd.  One would hope anyway.

I encouraged and aided my own son to adulthood and then, stood aside and bragged.  Well, not exactly bragged.  But, I still remember the first time a co-worker of his praised his abilities and his work ethic.  

Ha!  The first time?  I remember the last time it happened, just a day past.

Parents are like that, you know.

And a voice came from heaven, telling them, “This is my only Son.  I am exceedingly pleased with Him.”  (Matthew 1:5)  

Evidently, there is another Father who wants His children to excel.

He gives us the tools to do just that—lifting us when we can’t see, carrying us when we can’t walk, encouraging us as we gain strength and wisdom.

Parents are like that, you know.

One has to wonder:  Why is it we seem to be satisfied, all too often, with the norm?  

Why do we stay a part of the crowd, when we have the advantages we’ve been given?

Why are we afraid to grow?  Why are we afraid to excel?  Why are we afraid to stand tall?

I wonder.  Surely I’m not the only one with big ideas (rattling around in a tiny brain).

Perhaps, it’s time we started acting on the big ideas.

It seems likely that we’ve stood on the edge of the dream for too long.  I think I hear a voice, almost like that of Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia, calling us further up and further in.

Still encouraging.  Still calling.

Parents are like that, you know.

 

 

He turned swiftly round, crouched lower, lashed himself with his tail and shot away like a golden arrow.
“Come further in!  Come further up!” he shouted over his shoulder.

(from The Last Battle ~ C.S. Lewis ~ English theologian/author ~ 1898-1963)

 

Now look here, gal, you’d better be yourself
And leave that other stuff on the shelf
You’re country, baby
That’s plain to see

Don’t get above your raisin’
Stay down to earth with me
(Don’t Get Above Your Raising ~ Flatt/Scruggs ~ American Songwriters)

 

 

 

 

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Reaching

  1. I had a mom who never praised what we did and I indirectly found out why. My Aunt was praising one of her kids and my mom said to me, “She’s gonna be sorry she’s doing that one day, they are gonna get big heads.” And so not once do I remember a word of praise. There was a time though when my sister and I threw my parents a surprise anniversary party. It was for their 19th anniversary. We didn’t know that wasn’t done. And yet, God knew, for she died just one month later. When my mom walked in and saw the house full of family and knew my sister Peggy and I did it, she looked at us and said two words, “You two.” But the smile on her face filled in all the words unspoken.

    I became a mom that did praise my kids. I wanted them to know I thought they were wonderful, still think they’re wonderful.

    Thanks Paul for your post. I’m sure glad that our heavenly Father lets us know how he feels about us.

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