Red rover, red rover, let ______ come over. How many of us have played this game? Unfortunately the children of today will never experience that thrill that comes when you feel your arms are about to be ripped from their sockets. How could schools ban such an uplifting activity?
I think about games like this and I wonder, “How did we choose who’s name to put in that blank?” I know sometimes you chose the person you felt like was too scrawny to break through. But most of the time you chose your favorite. The person that didn’t make it on your team that you liked the most. That’s how all games went … at-least if I was choosing. I don’t remember choosing the person with the best ability I just chose my best friend. Sometimes I had several best friends and that made the decision extremely difficult.
Well I’m about to ask you to choose. To decide who you want to “come over”. Tomorrow is a day of thanksgiving and we can’t help but focus on people we are grateful for. Well I want you to do this …. make a decision.
If you could choose three … really you can do as many as you want… but choose some people that you know have had the greatest influence on your life. The people that you would want to “come over” for a thanksgiving meal with you … so that you can make sure they know just how much they mean to your heart.
“Red Rover, Red Rover, let Cricket, Marilou, and Rex come over. ” I want to focus on these three because they all helped develop a part of me that has made me who I am today.
Cricket … if my memory serves me correctly we met in the office on the first day of school in first grade. She had gotten in a fight because her mom made her wear a dress and some boys made fun of her. I don’t recall why I was in there, probably delivering flowers to the secretary or something 🙂 . We were fast friends for all of elementary and High school. I still visit her when I go to Hobbs. If you haven’t heard a “Paige and Cricket” story then you haven’t known me very long. She was the friend of my childhood. She is a true friend who’s influence shaped who I am today … I believe she helped me develop my “lighter side”. Learning not to take myself too seriously has gotten me through some tough times.
Marilou … I met her in 1998 when I moved to Illinois. It took us a while to warm up to each other, but once we did … we were tight. I went to the movie with her almost every Sunday (sometimes other days in addition to that) for about 6 years. She had vision problems, and on more than one occasion I read entire movies to her if there were subtitles. I rode with her the day she wanted to try driving … to see if her vision was going to allow it. This may not have been the smartest move, but when she pulled over, crying because she was no longer going to be able to drive, I was glad I was there. She stretched my heart … it grew parts I never knew existed. I learned to love someone in-spite of our differences. She taught me that disagreement on an issue did not mean you could not be friends. I thank God for her support during my toughest times. She helped develop my “empathetic heart”. This empathy has helped me be able to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things from their point of view.
Finally Rex … No one person has had more influence on my life. All I can say about him is he has been the most consistent person in my life. He has shown me a real Jesus, that has a real grace, that has a real love for sinners. Words can not express my appreciation for Rex, but I know he knows. If I hadn’t been able to open up to him about my “real” thoughts I would never have come home. I thank God for his love, patience, and consistency. He helped me develop my “get real” muscle, and it saved my life. It wasn’t until I “got real” that God could work His wonders on my heart.
These are the folks I would ask over … how about you?