A Kids Old Toy


It’s one of those toys I had over seven decades ago that I wish I had now. The Jack in the Box toy. If one of those old ones like I had were around today, and in pristine condition, I guess it would be worth some bucks given the publics nostalgia for old toys. It was a metal box (tin) approximately 6”w X 6”d X 6” h, and it had a hinged lid that snapped shut. On one side there was a crank. When you turned the crank at some point you could never guess all of a sudden the lid would pop open and a clown face on a spring attached to the inside would pop up out of the box. It was always a surprise when that lid would fly open. To put one of today’s expressions to it, you could easily say it was one of those “wow” moments for us kids.

These Days

It’s easy for us these days to not have too many of those “wow” moments which come as a result of something as simple as that toy, isn’t it? As we get older (and, yes, more hardened to the ways of the world), busier, stressed, and certainly worn out, our “wow” moments are more and more confined to the big bangs we seem to seek out of life more often. It’s almost as if we allow some crust to build up on our hearts, a crust which stops so many of the simple joys and wonders we are surrounded with from touching our hearts.

Oh, to be sure, most of us will reflexively look at a wonderfully painted sunrise or sunset and be wowed by it. We do the same thing when we see other wonders of nature—like the Grand Canyon, or the birth of a child. We are wowed, and legitimately so. We should be. They are examples of God’s hand in our lives and His handiwork.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV)

Those two words, “all things”, mean just that—all things. Not just the sunsets and sunrises, natural wonders, and the like, but all things. Things like the breath we just breathed and the next one coming, that last heartbeat, and the next one coming. Things like here I sit at the computer thinking words for this piece and they leave my brain, travel down my arms to my fingers on a keyboard, and I look at them and understand them as they are printing out on a screen. Things like you looking at those same words on your screen with eyes that are a foot away and you recognize them, know them, and hopefully are enjoying them as they touch you and your heart. All those things, and so much more, are enormous “wows” that we simply take for granted so much of the time.

Yes, it seems as if we, as we get older, lose that wonderful childlike gift of “wow”. Is it perhaps because we take ourselves too seriously? Have we deadened ourselves to the simple joys and wonders of life as we have aged? Could it be that we have self-Imposed the necessity of being “adult” to such a degree that we have forgotten (or worse yet, find it foolish) that it is wonderful to be childlike in our sense of awe and wonder? Have we let the innocence of youth we all once had escape? Have we allowed the business of life to kidnap that child in each of us (the one we often yearn for) and hold him captive within?
We were made to be childlike to the degree that we accept scripture, God, and all that He made and does with the blind faith and sense of awe and wonder of a child.

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Mark 10:13-16 (ESV)

Perhaps for you it is time to consider these past few paragraphs. Find that child in you once again. Love on him. Embrace him. Let him be your best friend as together you start to explore that wonderful world of “wow” that is available to each of us if we can only see it. It’s there. It’s never left. It’s God.

One way to help yourself to do that is to, regularly, simply praise God and thank Him for all of those little wows we all take for granted along with the big wows like the sunrises and sunsets and canyons.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm139:14 (ESV)

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