She really enjoys helping Mama in the kitchen so when we found a little play kitchen at the store we immediately decided to pick it up. It was the right size for her 4-year-old stature and the right price for our budget.
The box said, “Some Assembly Required.”
I’m a veteran Santa’s helper. I was not intimidated.
I’ve done some impressive things to create a certain mystique on Christmas morning for our kids. Just ask Hayden about the full sized basketball goal that was found in the living room one Christmas. It was WAY too big to fit through the door.
There was another time that I erected an outdoor play set inside the house (and then AGAIN outside the house).
Thankfully this kitchen was not gigantic. I planned on snapping it together well in advance of the big day and hiding it from curious eyes until the Red Intruder made his existence known in the Burden house.
I allotted a generous amount of time for the construction of this tiny kitchen. I couldn’t see how it could take more than 30 from beginning to end. That is until I actually opened the box.
I don’t know how they do it. As I was removing the pieces from the box I was reminded of a circus act I’ve seen before. You know the one. It’s where a little car drives into the ring and 400 clowns get out of a vehicle the size of a Yugo. When I was done emptying the box’s contents, I had parts scattered all over the house.
The last thing that came out of the box was the instructions. It was a SINGLE page. One Page, One Thousand Parts!
To complicate matters, the instruction page was printed in some form of new-age hieroglyphics. As I looked out over the array of nuts, bolts, pieces of wood, and odds-and-ends, I couldn’t make heads from tails. I didn’t know where to BEGIN!
What was supposed to take a mere 30 minutes ate up over three hours.
NOTE TO SELF: “Some Assembly Required” means “Do Not Buy This, At Any Price!”
It’s interesting to look back on that day. My little project for Rylie did not BEGIN with bolting a board to a knob or a handle to a door. It BEGAN with LOVE.
It was LOVE that made the purchase.
It was LOVE that set aside the time for construction.
It was LOVE that was looking forward to a big smile and an even bigger hug from Daddy’s favorite 4 year old.
I’ve talked with many people over the years who wanted to know what to do to BEGIN the Christian life. They were looking for a system to follow, a program to keep, a regiment to maintain.
Those have their place, but they are not the start of the Christian existence any more than Rylie’s kitchen started by attaching Board #135 to Handle #229. The Christian life BEGINS with LOVE, God’s LOVE.
God’s LOVE is so much greater than we can possibly imagine.
It was His LOVE that sent His Son.
It was His LOVE that paid the price for our salvation.
It is His LOVE that has prepared us a home in eternity with Him.
It is His wonderful LOVE that we acknowledge and, in the best way we can, reciprocate.
It is when we realize God’s arms are wide open to us in a real and personal way that the Christian life BEGINS.
Our life with God BEGINS, proceeds, and culminates in LOVE.
I hope you are looking forward to celebrating the rich, deep and undeniable LOVE God has for you as we gather for worship this weekend. My prayer is that He will inspire us through our singing, praying and preaching to LOVE Him with all of our heart, and with all of our soul, and with all of our strength, and with all of our mind.