article by Paul Lipe
I REMEMBER with a great deal of pleasure the joy that my first grandchild, Trey, has given me. From the first time I held him as a ten-hour old baby, there has been a bond of affection that I do not think anything can challenge.
Hours of happiness have been mine as I have watched him participate in sports, spent time vacationing with him on the beach or in the mountains, and braved the elements in the pursuit of the big 12-point buck on our hunting club near Delhi. In more recent years, he has cheered my day by calling to report to me how well his Ole Miss Rebels were doing in football, basketball, or baseball. To say that he is special to me would be a gross understatement.
You who are grandparents will understand the smiles that a Grand can produce in the heart and on the face. One such smile occurs when I remember an occasion that took place when Trey was about 2 years old. His mother, Mary Linda Moss (Doc), was a resident in radiology and was doing some weekend moonlighting in Brookhaven, MS. On the weekend in mind, she took Trey with her. My son Jonathan, and his new wife, another Mary Linda (Mel), lived in New Orleans where he was in graduate school. These newlyweds were on their way to Delhi for the weekend, and they stopped at the motel in Brookhaven where Trey and his mom were staying. Trey’s Mom told him to give Mel a hug, adding, “She is your aunt.” Trey recoiled in fear, exclaiming, “Ants bite!”
His fear is understood when you hear the rest of the story. Shortly before this weekend experience, Trey was playing in the yard while his Dad, Jimmy, was mowing the lawn. Pointing to a fire-ant bed, Jimmy cautioned his son, “Be careful, young man. Ants bite.” Remembering his Dad’s warning, Trey did not want to give Mel that chance!
Trey’s problem arose as the result of his failure to see the difference between a fire ant and his uncle’s wife (Aunt Mel). Unfortunately, things, and people, are not always what they seem or what we think them to be. There have been too many times when an individual or a situation seemed harmless, and we discovered, to our dismay, that, like a fire ant, they can bite. And the bite can be painful.
Or we can be fearful of something so that we shy away from it to our detriment, only to learn later that there was no danger and that the thing we feared was something from which we could have benefitted. For example, I am, by nature hesitant to try new things or to engage in untested adventures; had I yielded to this proclivity, I would have missed out on one of the most exciting and interesting trips I ever took. A number of years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Europe, so I cast aside my anxieties, and we set out – all alone! Had I followed my natural instincts, we never would have ventured outside my comfort zone. But contrary to those instincts, I booked our flight, purchased Eurail passes, made hotel reservations in Paris, and Linda and I were off on one of our most enjoyable excursions a person can imagine. I turned a deaf ear to those voices that were warning, “You can’t do it; it is dangerous; it will cost too much.” And we never regretted taking that trip, and I would do it again – in a minute!
Have unfounded fears and lack of faith kept you imprisoned in your comfort zone? The One Who governs the whole universe encourages us, “Fear not, I am with you.” By His grace, and because of His presence with us, fears are conquered; so let us learn to trust Him. And in that trust, may we attempt greater things and, therefore realize greater joys. Don’t let fear, real or unfounded, paralyze you so that you fail to experience those blessings your Father has in store for you.
When he was just a two-year old little boy, Trey was afraid that Aunt Mel might bite him. Now that he is a senior at Ole Miss…he still is a little dubious, but he will give her a hug!