'My child loves to learn!'

Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The church my wife and I attend also has a number of families from Foundation worshipping there. Bonus! It means that I get to connect with some of the children from school on the weekend as well!

Sunday after service I was standing in the church atrium chatting with some of the Foundation graduates from a few years ago. Suddenly from out of the crowd, like a streak of lightening, a little body hurtled towards me, purposely crashing into my side. It was little Amber, one of my favourite students (actually, every one of my students is my favourite). Amber enjoys horsing around with me as much as I do with her. Only this time I had the misfortune of holding a full coffee cup in my hand. Upon impact the cup catapulted all of its contents high into the air, barely missing the crowd standing around us, landing in a huge puddle on the shiny tile floor.

Joe, one of the church custodians was standing nearby. He witnessed the catastrophe and immediately went for the mop. Upon returning he looked at the huge puddle of coffee on the floor and said, “Now some people would call this a mess. But I just call it job security!”

Poor Amber however was quite distraught. The coffee shooting through the air shocked her as did the attention it received from those around us. She had no idea what I was holding it in my hand. She felt so embarrassed. I tried to reassure her that given my performance record, if she hadn’t spilled it, I most surely would have.

The whole incident was by no means a disaster. In fact, for me, it was a blessing. As much as I enjoy coffee, and as much as I prefer the coffee to be in my cup rather than on my sleeve and all over the floor, I enjoy relationship more. I take great pride in the fact that I would be the target for Amber’s attention, and that she felt comfortable enough to engage me in play.

Jesus says, “Let the little children come…and forbid them not…for of such is the kingdom of God.”

The friendship and trust of a child is one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed.

I would gladly trade away a hundred cups of coffee for one meaningful connection with a child. Play is one of the highest compliments a child can pay an adult. It implies an investment of child-like trust and affection. It is a reward well worth the time and effort.

At the end of my life, the measure of true success will not be whether I was invested with the Order of Canada nor how many university degrees I have attached to the end of my name. Rather, true success will simply be measured by whether or not I was I able, if even once, to have friendship and trust graciously bestowed upon me by a child. There is no greater honour than this.

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