Trophies are nice, reminders of past victories. Ice cream is now. A present experience. You can reminisce about ice cream as easily as awards, but the real thing packs more punch. Which would you prefer right now, a creamy double-dip of your favorite flavor melting in your mouth – or a memory?
I fondly remember home-made ice cream. Miraculously transformed in a hand-cranked freezer packed with rock salt. Anticipation was part of the thrill.
Cranking the Ice Cream Freezer Teaches Patience
“When will it be done???”
Children waiting for ice cream are antsy. They’re salivating. Ready. Churning ice cream taught patience. Sometimes you gotta work and wait for the good stuff.
Patience is a critical element in championships. Maybe ice cream was more important to my development than I thought?
Horses are a lot like children. Mine don’t care that I am a World Champion Breeder and Trainer. They don’t care about anything I’ve done past or present that doesn’t involve them. Accomplishments and titles aren’t nearly as important to the wise and simple horse as answers to weighty questions like, “What have you done for me lately?” or “Is it dinner time?”
Children (and Horses) Have a Marvelous Sense of What Is and Is Not Important
The little child in your lap isn’t impressed by your resume, awards, or certificates suitable for framing. She doesn’t care if you’re the new Super Bowl MVP, President of the United States, or latest Nobel Laureate unless it’s material to her. If such things mean it’s party time – woo hoo, she’s in!
No World Championship title wins a contest with an ice cream cone. Little boys and girls may be momentarily distracted by a shiny bronze trophy, but that interest disappears faster than you can say “has been” the instant you mention ice cream.
My grandmother managed a nursing home/care center. I went to work with her many times throughout my childhood. (What else could she do with me when I wasn’t at my uncle’s place learning fantastic new things about animals and farming?) There were two floors of residents at the center, those able to get around on their own and those who couldn’t. Non-ambulatory residents lived on the second floor. My playmates lived on the first floor.
When I was a kid I figured everyone was young until they moved upstairs. The old folks on the second floor didn’t know I was there. They weren’t fun.
Children Know What’s Important and What Isn’t
My favorite buddy at the home was Reverend Nielsen, seventy years my senior. I later learned that his lifetime of service was notable to folks who cared about such things. I didn’t. I cared that he was fun. We played together and he had lemon drops. He sent me cards throughout the school year when I was back home. And he could make his teeth move up and down!
No one was more special than Reverend Nielsen. He was the only one I knew with movable teeth. If memory serves, I chattered about his teeth to anyone who would listen for a week. He was fascinating and a very special friend to an otherwise lonely little girl, and I adored him.
When it comes to relationships that matter, trophies, titles, and awards have little value. There’s a lot of similarity between God, little kids, and horses. Reverend Nielsen and I enjoyed spending time together. His accomplishments over the span of a long distinguished career weren’t the least bit interesting to me. We liked each other, and he could take out his teeth – what else mattered?
Relationship Truths – Children, Horses, God
If you’re not familiar with horses I have a few interesting pieces of information to share:
- Horses don’t care how pretty you are.
- Horses don’t care how much money you have.
- Horses don’t care who your family is, and
- Horses don’t care who you know.
Horses only care about who you are in relationship to them and if you can be trusted.
You probably already know the truth of these statements about children:
- Little children don’t care how pretty you are.
- Little children don’t care how much money you have.
- Little children don’t care who your family is, and
- Little children don’t care who you know.
Little children only care about you are in relationship to them and if you can be trusted.
What about God?
- Does God care how pretty you are?
- Does God care how much money you have?
- Does God care who your family is, and
- Does God care who you know?
Like horses and little children, God cares most about who you are in relationship to Him. Unlike horses and kids, God already knows if you are trustworthy.
Simplicity Doesn’t Give Trophies
Trophies, titles, and awards will never carry much weight in personal relationships. If they do, the relationship probably isn’t really a personal one. (Just a hint.) Horses are simple. Children are simple. Jesus tells us that we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.
When you have to make tough relationship choices, remember, in most instances, ice cream is more important than bronze trophies.
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