Just like that, he was gone. I ran all the way around the house and my little red-headed four-year-old was gone. I hollered and yelled. No answer.
I had been hanging sheets on the laundry line in the backyard and he’d been peddle-pushing his little green tractor around and through the sheets. I asked him to stop. That was just seconds ago.
Suddenly, he’s gone.
I ran across the parking lot to the school (we lived on a boarding school campus), my heart pounding as I called out, “Andrew!” No noise. No green tractor. No bright red hair.
I yelled louder and ran the other direction. Nothing. My dog bounded around my feet, thinking this was the best game ever. I was not amused. There is a lot of trouble a four-year-old boy can get into in just a few moments. Thinking of the worse case scenario, I started down the hill, my stomach in my throat and my eyes scanning everywhere. My neighbor, from down over the hill drove up. “Carol, I heard you calling Andrew. You go look on campus, I’ll drive down to the river.”
My worst fear. The river. Swift flowing, eddies and boulders, cold and deep. Andrew loved the water. “There’s no way he could be that far, he was JUST with me!” I hollered frantically.
His sympathetic eyes met mine as he shifted gears, ready to go, “Go look on campus, I’ll take the river.”
With my whole being I wanted to run to the river. Oh Lord, why didn’t I just let him dirty up the sheets. But no, he couldn’t be in the river, he didn’t have time. I ran around a corner and scanned yet another area – no little guy. Another building, another corner – no sign of the little green tractor.
Three honks break into my thoughts. Oh thank God. My neighbor had found Andrew. I ran back to the top of the hill and met the car, complete with the green tractor hanging out the back and a little boy in the front. “He was on the bridge, almost out to the highway.”
I grabbed my boy and hung on tight. “Andrew! What were you doing?”
“I wanted to ride with the trucks!” His chin quivered. He knew he was in trouble, but he wasn’t quite sure whether mommy was happy or mad. Mommy wasn’t quite sure either.
I set the tractor down beside us and leaned in the car window to thank my friend and neighbor. As I turned around, I saw Andrew leaning forward on the seat of the tractor, feet not down to push, but rather up on the handle bars as the tractor began zooming down the hill all over again. Why that little booger. That’s how he had made it all the way to the river. Rather than push, he’d just picked up his feet and flew down the hill.
I grabbed my boy in one hand and the tractor in the other and marched both home. I stomped around back where I hung the tractor from the rafters on the back deck. “No more tractor until you can learn to obey!” I declared to my boy as I explained why he needed to stay in the yard.
His chin quivered as he looked longingly up at his favorite toy. Mommy took his favorite toy. That’s what he knew. Andrew was totally unaware of the dangers, thinking only of how fun it was to zoom down that hill.
The dangers were all I could think about. The swift flowing river and the highway filled with logging trucks told me I was right, and I thanked God for keeping my little guy safe.
Every day Andrew asked if I could take the tractor down. Every day I reminded him why it was up there. Eventually, of course, I took it down and he had another chance to stay in the yard with his tractor.
Such a simple thing – obedience. It’s for our best. It’s for our safety. It’s for our salvation. God gives us guidelines for a reason. Sometimes we just want to pick up our feet and do what we want and sometimes God hangs up our little green tractors until we learn to be safe.LIttle Green Tractors and lesson in obedience! #inspirememonday via @caregivermom Click To Tweet
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1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
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I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememondays. Join us! (tweet this)
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