Two Year Olds

Two-year-olds are legendary for being pint-sized weapons of mass destruction.  There is no object too valuable they won’t destroy, no moment so special they won’t raise a fuss, and no person so important they won’t embarrass.  It is one of the few generalizations that even the PC police do not hesitate to categorize as “terrible.”  This phase of life is laughingly called the “Terrible Twos.”  Having said all that, there is no one who is cuter, more loved, and brings more joy than a two-year-old in the family.  Every day is an adventure, every word is recordable, every moment is precious.  The Baxter Family is currently being held hostage by a two-year-old.

Once or twice a week, I am responsible to pick up my granddaughter Ali from the babysitter.  She loves the sitter and her family.  They turn their world over to her, as if they have a choice.  When I enter the house, Ali makes it clear that she is not ready to leave.  I don’t blame her.  I wouldn’t leave, either!  She runs to hide, and when forced to come from hiding, whines and refuses to cooperate when asked to put on her shoes or her jacket or to gather up her toys.  What’s a grandmother to do?

The other day I walked into Ms. Karen’s house as usual, and as usual, Ali was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly, she jumped out of hiding, arms spread open and announced her presence with a lively, “Here I am!”  She then turned to Ms. Karen’s teenage daughter and said, “That’s the way you do it!  Make her happy.”  There’s still a greasy spot on the floor where this grandmother’s heart melted.  Even a ranking member of the Terrible Twos knows how to make someone happy and wants to do it from time to time.

What a lesson for us!  Of course, it’s not an original thought.  Jesus, Himself, taught us to “Love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”  It’s a simple commandment, but it’s not easy to follow.  Our neighbors can be so hard to love.  Just like a two-year-old, sometimes they whine and complain and complicate our lives, and we proceed to respond to them just like a two-year-old responds with more whining and complaining.

As Christians making the Lord happy should be the total intent of our hearts.  Instead of our responding to our whiny, complaining neighbor AS a two-year-old, we should respond to her as we would respond TO a two-year-old with love and compassion, and maybe even a little humor.  We can then spread out our arms and say, “That’s the way you do it.  Make Him happy!”

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