One Shot

Benito figured that he would be better off with one good son than with a family of six kids like his mom and dad had produced. He wanted to pour all of his efforts into that one child.  When a baby boy arrived, he couldn’t have been happier.  He knew he was going to have to work hard all of his life to get that boy a great education.  He and Dolores decided to name him John.

The boy started showing promise early on by learning to walk at nine months. By his second Christmas he had been walking for half a year. Benito was excited that the boy had enough going for him to realize what the holiday was all about.  At 7:00 AM on that day Benito woke him up and said, “It’s Christmas morning boy! “He walked John out to the hall between the two, small bedrooms and pointed him into the living room. The boy fell in love with the Christmas tree so hard that he ran toward it and gave a full body tackle hurling it into the dining room.  Lights popped and ornaments flew but the boy still squealed with delight.

Water was tough to come by that year in Fort Worth.  Dolores was particularly pleased when somehow a single lily sprouted in the Spring.  Two days later she was ironing a shirt in the kitchen when John walked in and gave her the lily.  Dolores started sobbing at the loss and the present.  John ran from the room.  Thirty minutes later Dolores couldn’t find him and finally wandered into the backyard. There he was crying his eyes out trying to scotch tape the lily back onto its stem.  “So, the boy has intelligence and heart,” she thought.

The next month, just before his second birthday, she found him walking around on the roof.  The week after that he climbed progressively up some furniture and found his way into the top drawer of their bedroom dresser.  When the dresser came crashing down, Dolores heard it hit the tile floor.  She ran into the room to find John trapped in the top drawer under the dresser.  She enrolled in a Red Cross first aid course the next day.

Benito’s best friend Ernest said, “Man, that kid gets into a lot of messes!”  Benito responded, “Yeah, but he could just be sitting in a corner sucking his thumb.  I’m glad he is aggressively seeking knowledge and adventures.”  Ernest said, “Just wait until he is a teenager.  You may not be so happy then.”  Benito said,  “Can you imagine being God as the Creator of the Universe looking over his children?  He is so patient with us.  Bucky Fuller said, ‘As parents we are to provide our children with a reasonably safe place in which to learn about their universe.’  As confident as I am in my son, I am putting a lot into the choices I make for him.”

When I read the Old Testament, it is amazing how many times God gave his chosen people a second chance. God is more like Benito when it comes to us individually.  He wants us to succeed and pours into us all the information and wisdom that we need to make a go of it. Yet, when we fall short, He doesn’t treat us like a “one shot”.

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