Among the many great benefits of being a grandparent is getting to experience old things in a new way. Abigail turned a year old in July and almost every day she encounters something new to her or is excited about something that most of us have long ago stopped noticing. I have the privilege of spending time with her every Monday, and as luck would have it, Monday is garbage pick-up day in Dublin, Ohio. Not exactly a banner day for most of us – not something that we get excited about – but Abigail is fascinated with the big yellow garbage truck that rolls down her street. It is large and loud, and Abigail loves it. A few weeks ago, I was taking her for a walk and numerous garbage trucks crossed our path. We had hit the mother lode. One driver even stopped to wave to Abigail. I can’t remember the last time that seeing a garbage truck was so much fun for me. She is also fascinated by the airplanes and helicopters that fly overhead. She cranes her head skyward to follow their paths as they go by.
On other occasions Abigail will be in the yard pulling up a blade of grass or studying some bug or other object that the rest of us overlook. It is all so captivating to her. She has some really cool toys, but she is just as likely to be interested in a dried up leaf that she finds on the ground.
Jesus tells us to consider the lilies and study the ravens, but most of us don’t do that. Abigail does. She is constantly learning something new and finds joy in the simplest things that comes her way. Jesus also advises us that unless we become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of God. Jesus associates childhood with humility and openness to hearing and experiencing new things such as this thing that Jesus calls the Kingdom of God.
Abigail is growing up, but I hope that she never grows so old that she ceases to be curious and open to all the ways that God shares His beautiful creation with us. As for the rest of us, let us be reminded that even a garbage truck or a dried up leaf might contain a lesson for us.