Of course, multiple other translations of Psalm 127 state that children are a reward from God. One pundit said he understood this to mean that grandchildren are God’s reward to you for not killing your own children! What parent cannot at least on occasion relate to this humorous remark?!
Either way, these days, my wife and I are enjoying both the reward and the blessing that God has given us in our seven grandsons. Each day brings new adventures to their little lives. Simply watching them grow and develop and discover the world around them is a joy that is hard to describe.
Their current ages range from six months to four and a half years of age. As I have observed them, I have concluded that the one thing that ties them all together at this point in life is their ever increasing levels of mobility. The oldest loves to put on his “fast shoes” and then show us how swiftly he can run around the yard. He will literally run large circles for you as long as you will watch him.
The two oldest of his younger cousins have yet to master running smoothly, but have still begun to trot to each new destination. This all began when their walking first sped up. With each passing day, their steps now grow less and less precarious and more and more assured. Their arms too are prone to be less and less outstretched like balance beams and more and more swinging in confluence with his gait.
Other, younger grandsons have not quite mastered running; but they have learned to walk. What began as timid, teetering steps has now morphed into buoyant strides demonstrating deliberate foot placements and increasingly steady balance.
Still younger ones have not yet learned to walk, but have learned to crawl. What began as rocking back and forth has now quickly become the ability to perch confidently on hands and knees. Once so positioned, the temptation to go forth and investigate the world around them quickly overpowers any inertia. There is simply too much out there they need to investigate!
The youngest two are not to be outdone. The first of these two has now learned to roll over. It seems that he has discovered that he can enjoy more than one view of the world, and that it is within his power to change that view at will. This leaves the youngest of them all. He is just now learning to hold up his head and look around. But in so doing, he clearly demonstrates that he has a keen interest in the world around him, and is eager to discover more about it. Daily, he enjoys new perspectives!
What ties all of these traits together? To me, it is the fact that they represent a very important principle. That principle is that life is meant to be lived! We are not put here in this world to spend our lives as spectators, but as participants! We were not created simply to sit back and observe life from afar, like mere onlookers in some giant arena. Rather, we are meant to go forth and engage the world around us so as to make a difference for ourselves and for others.
Of course, to do this, we must be proactive; we must be intentional; and we must be determined. For it is only in first attempting to do something that we ever actually do something. And it is only in doing something over and over again that we finally perfect it. And it is only in perfecting one thing that we can build upon it and attempt even greater things. Ultimately, therefore, it is only in taking the initiative and running risks that we ever actually accomplish anything of significance in life!
For these reasons, if for no other, I am proud of every single one of my seven grandsons. Though tender in age, each of them is already demonstrating in his own way a determined propensity to proactively engage the world around them. Each one has shown that he fully intends to reach out and grab hold of life! In short, while some are running, some are walking, some are crawling, some are merely rolling over, and one is merely looking around, still, each in his own way is clearly intending to go places in this world!
Of course, they do not yet have the benefit of my sixty years of experience. Therefore, they cannot yet know just how bumpy that ride might eventually prove to be. But no matter, for they are bold. And daily, their boldness is being rewarded. Daily their confidence is growing. And daily, they are not only engaging life, but having small victories in the process!
So, yes, my children and my grandchildren are indeed a blessing to me! Better yet, they are blessing upon blessing to me. To use the analogy of the Psalmist (127:5), I am glad that God has chosen to fill my proverbial quiver with them.
But more than a blessing, they are also an inspiration to me - as well as a challenge. For through them, I am reminded daily that even though I am now an older man who has already been privileged to go lots of places and do lots of things in my life, I am not yet done. There are still more places for me to go in my life; just as there is still much more for me to do in my life!
Given this, when my Heavenly Father looks down upon me, I pray the efforts I display toward going places and accomplishing things in life are plainly evident to Him, even when viewed from the world above. I pray also that He is pleased with what He sees! May my efforts (and any rewards they produce) bring joy to His heart!