Slivers of moonlight filtered through the curtains, providing barely enough light for navigation. It was a sleepless night and my mind was racing. There were so many projects to be done, both at home and at work. While laying in the darkness I heard a noise coming from my sonís room. It was probably just a tree limb rubbing against the roof or a board in the wall contracting as it cooled from the heat of the summer sun.
Naturally, trimming the trees was on my list of projects to do, some day, but if they were rubbing the roof, that should get done soon. I couldnít get it out of my head and I had to prioritize so I slipped out of bed and headed across the house.
In the living room a cool breeze wafted through the open window. I noticed some of my work papers I left hastily on the couch. I knew if a gust blew them to the floor I could spend an hour in the morning sorting them back together so I picked them up and placed them on the kitchen counter. I turned on the hallway light and as I made my way down the passage the sound continued. By now I was convinced this was the trees and I would have to rearrange my weekend. I could move a couple meetings back and wax the car on Sunday. There was of course the baseball game and the potluck supper at Church.
I was almost to Bradís room when something caught my eye. A brass picture frame reflected the yellowish light back at me, perhaps brighter because my eyes were still adjusting from the moonlight. It was a collection of photos as Brad grew over the years. How fast he had grown, soon to be a man of the world. So many pressures and so many choices lay ahead. Would he handle the conflicts and achieve his dreams?
The sound came again as I stepped into the room. Indeed it was the trees and I had to resolve how to get it all done. I took one step closer to the window when a sudden pain erupted between my toes. ďOUCH!Ē What was that?
I looked down and wedged in my foot was a small plastic missile from my sonís remote control Army tank. I remembered him telling me the batteries were low, but I was to busy with work to help him at the time. It was just a toy and served no real purpose so it held little weight in my prioritized mind. Just something given as a present at a party gone by, a birthday I think, which one I couldnít remember.
I picked up the tank and the missile and went back to the kitchen. The batteries were in the cupboard so I opened a pack. I couldnít believe how many batteries that tank took, but I put them in place. Just as I did it made a thundering sound and two more missiles took off across the floor. A sudden strange urge to reload came across my mind so I plugged in the missiles and put the tank on its tracks.
With the control in my hand I pressed the red button and again came the launch and the thundering noise. I pressed the stick forward and the tank shuddered ahead. At the touch of another button the voice of a soldier told me to watch for incoming fire. I sat on the floor and staged my own war.
Memories of youth filled my head and pushed out the trees, the meetings and more. I realized how fast life had gone by and how little fun there was in the life I had made. I had become too serious and dry and never gave enough time to Brad. Things had to change.
I hurried to my computer and sent a few emails to cancel my Saturday meetings. I still had the trees but it wouldnít take long, with Bradís help. I then surfed the web and found a toy site. I entered my information and hit submit. The response was confirmed and the entire mechanized Army set was on its way. Rather than trying to conquer the world by myself, this Saturday Brad and I would defend the world together.
As the father of a four year old, I can appreciate this story, very much. I spend entirely too much time at this computer doing work. While it is God's work, I don't believe that He wants us to do it at the expense of our family. Great story.