A wave of nostalgia came over Brett when he discovered that Atari released a new game system with about 70 of their old games on it. He had to have it. Nothing could stop him. We pulled into the already holiday inspired crowded parking lot of the toy store and joined the other shoppers in shopping madness. Brett remained undeterred by the other people crowding the store aisle and seemed magnetically pulled to the electronic section. Aspen decided she would rather play with the toy train display, so Brett continued on to the electronic department alone.
Brett approached the sales clerk in the electronics department. “Do you have any Atari 4 systems in stock?” “You mean the ‘I hate Atari’ I-phone app?” The clerk asked. Transforming his anger into sympathy for this apparently game-stunted youth behind the counter, Brett informed him of the new release of the original Atari game console for those who could appreciate the art and challenge of original computer gaming. The clueless clerk shook his head and replied with an, “Uh, no.” Once again Brett was not to be deterred and decided that quite possibly the clerk didn’t know how to tie his own shoes much less if they had his desired product in stock so he began to browse around the store. His instincts proved correct and he found his desired item…I didn’t witness this personally but I believe he paraded the box in front of the clerk.
How often does the devil tell us that God’s love isn’t available to us? Do we believe him and live our lives without what our heart most deeply searches for? Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
While Brett searched for the Atari game system Aspen pushed the trains around the track. Other children came and went from the train table at their parents bidding mostly unnoticed by me. Until the mother of a five-year old girl told her it was time to go. The girl replied that she didn’t want to go, she wanted to play. The mother said she understood, but she would only allow another twenty seconds. The girl continued to push the train around while the mother began to slowly count. One……… two. I thought, “Oh no, is she really going to count that slowly all the way to twenty?” Apparently the new twenty is three. After uttering the number three the mother grabbed the child by the arm and marched her out of the store saying, “No, toys for you!” Just after this incident there was only one little boy about three years old playing with Aspen. I heard his mother quietly say, “C’mon.” I watched in amazement as the little boy quietly left the table and followed his mother down the aisle.
I immediately compared the incident to how I listen to God. Occasionally I hear that quiet voice and just follow along. I look back at those times and feel peaceful. Other times, while God does not act like the mother who grabbed her child and marched out the door, God does seem to have to keep repeating Himself over and over before I bother to pay any attention to Him. Looking back at those times, it is as painful to remember them as it was to watch the mother grab her child and march out the door.