“Grandpa, don’t go.”
I couldn’t quite grasp what my grandson said from the back seat. “What was that?” I said over my shoulder.
“Grandpa, don’t go home.” I understood the words. Still the statement didn’t make sense to my adult mind. I’d only minutes before stowed my suitcase in the trunk and situated myself in the front seat. The airplane ride had ended. I had arrived and now we were on the way to my daughter’s house for my Labor Day weekend visit.
“But I haven’t gotten to your house.”
“I don’t want you to go.”
I smiled at the simplicity of his request. How he must have looked forward to my visit and planned to have fun, so much fun he didn’t want me to leave before I’d arrived. “I look forward to playing with you and your sister.” I responded.
“Grandpa, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
There is power in anticipation. My anticipation meter had been high as well. It had been two years since I’d made the trip to Oregon and I’d last seen my grandson around Father’s Day the prior year when his family came to Illinois for a two week visit. As the day of my westward flight approached I increasingly focused on my upcoming visit.
That my grandson had this level of anticipation that he didn’t want me to leave before I’d actually arrived showed either a childhood naiveté or he had good memories of our last time together. Or is there greater power in playing peek-a-boo over skype? I wonder. He doesn’t know me well – at least not as well as my other set of grandchildren. In trust he believed he was going to have a good time with grandpa. In anticipation started the visit with the declaration of keeping me around permanently.
What a longing for relationship!
When I think of my relationships, I wonder how much longing I exhibit in them. Do I long to return home to my wife after a day’s work? Or do I simply desire to get away from work? There are days and there are days!
On another level how deeply do I anticipate my time with my Heavenly Father? My goal is to journal my prayer time, reflect on God’s involvement in my day, and read centering meditation books. Often I do this out of habit, or out of obligation, or out of a challenge (like this year when my wife bought a meditation book so we could have a common daily reading).
But when was the last time I engaged these practices out of anticipation of time with my Father? Have I ever begun my time by saying, “I don’t want You to go”? Sadly I have not exhibited the same level of intensity as my grandson in his greeting me at the airport. Still my desire for a deepening relationship with God remains. I want to spend time knowing God and following Him.
And, so, during my visit we went to my daughter’s church’s family camp. There I woke early still on Chicago time. I trekked down to the dining hall in the quiet cool darkness, fixed a cup of tea, journaled, and read my meditation books. My grandson’s simple statement plucked a cord of my heart. The vibration lasted much longer than the visit to his home.
It’s still vibrating ever so gently.
“I don’t want you to go.”