‘I not even’

Cruising west, out of Pennsylvania, we stopped in a little community called Triadelphia, West Virginia. It was lunchtime and our driver needed to eat. (That’s me) We strolled into a Cracker Barrel and sat down.

While our food was being prepared, a family of four came in – the parents, a boy and a girl. The boy was probably 6 and his little sister was 4. As I sipped on some very good coffee we watched the children play with those giant checker-boards they have. Obviously, the girl had played this game before: someone had taught her to make the moves in her mind before moving them permanently. She would look the board over and trace an imaginary line where each move would put her. Most likely, these kids were home-schooled for the brother did not get impatient with her method of selecting her moves. We were enthralled as her mind and eyes moved with each finger-tracing. Soon, it was time to go so I picked up our bill and stopped beside their game-board. I asked, “Who is the better player? Neither one wanted to readily admit that so the boy said, we are even. I think he meant that, since the game had just started, no one had won yet. But the girl was not content with his summation. Unable to form complete sentences her response was, “I not even.” She reached over to her side and picked up one checker, the game’s only trophy, so far. She had won it from her brother – she knew that she was ahead for he had none of hers.

I thought about her ability to trace those moves and how wonderful that would be if all her life-choices would be that well thought out. Young people are prone to act without much thought. All too soon, they are caught-up in poor decisions and unable to make sense of what they had chosen. I said a silent prayer that her method of choosing, what she wanted in life, would always be the right move: never taking her into difficult situations.

We thank God these parents gave their children fundamental building blocks to cope with this old sinful life. We see too often that so many families have failed to teach that God blesses those who care for him. My prayer would be that the whole would trace their choices before they become reality.