Like most people I also look forward to the weekend. But this past weekend was extra special. My grandchildren were coming over to spend Saturday with us. Not too long after their arrival the younger of the two, four years old, wanted to go and play in the basement. I figured her insistence had to do with the fact that the basement was a storehouse for all the toys and games we accumulated for them over the years and that it was wide open for uninhibited play.
But there was a problem this time. The basement was like a house on moving day. My wife had unpacked Christmas stuff and the boxes were everywhere on the basement floor awaiting sorting and storing in their assigned spaces. So I told my granddaughter that the basement was out of bounds because it was congested with boxes. She looked at me and as you adults would have guessed she was not dissuaded by my explanation. So I took her down to show her the unplayable state of affairs. As she began to walk among the boxes she kept pointing to each one and asking, “Is this the congestion?” I said, no and no and no.’ She then walked up to a vase, touched it, and once again asked, “Grandpa, is this the congestion?” I realized she had made this into a game and I threw in the towel.
It got me thinking about how as adults we see complexity, confusion, and congestion in conditions and circumstances where children see none. Through the untainted windows of her innocent eyes my granddaughter had turned congestion into a maze for fun and games.
It reminds me of a story about an old seer and his servant. It was early morning and the old man was still asleep when his servant exited the home to begin his morning chores and saw the house surrounded by enemy soldiers. They had come for his master who they claimed was the reason for their military defeats. The servant ran back into his house and shook the seer with the news that they were in trouble. ‘Alas, what are we going to do?’ Congestion! Without so much as moving a hair, the seer simply prayed and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2Ki.6:17).
Like this servant, we all have two sets of eyes, one natural and the other spiritual. Through natural sight we see trouble all around us. Congested with debt, hate, drugs, wars, diseases, infidelity, we become fearful, anxious, confused, and angry. But through spiritual eyes we see those same dreadful scenes in a different light. Obstacles and adversities are not to destroy us but to make us stronger and wiser and in the process of working through the congestion we become meeker and more gracious people. So what we need for a decongestant is not to have the boxes taken out of the way but just to find a way around them that is both fun and challenging. We need to see life though spiritual eyes and this is possible with regeneration of the spirit, for “most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see…” (Jn.3:3).