IMG_1170(2)While cruising through life I have often been told to slow down, “take a closer look” before making a decision. In this message I want to share the experience of lessons learned while on vacation. Often times, life’s strongest guideposts come from the small, simple, and sometimes distant encounters with others. Such is my case, as I became the benefactor of the behavioral patterns of 2 &1/2 year old twins. The cruise was only four days but during that time my wife and I were exposed to the unique life lesson of what it truly means to love and care for another as yourself.

Lesson – Our dinner reservations were for 6:00 pm. I was seated one table to the left of the twins – front row seat. Their mom sat between them for what I assumed was obvious reasons: Sibling rivalry!!! Boy, was I surprised. The little boy took a grape from his plate, held it out at arm’s length so his sister could see it.  Then she took one from her plate and they then ate together. Throughout the three course meal the same pattern continued, complete with gestures and constant reinforcement from each other…

Lesson – Following dinner the group migrated to the foyer. During endless conservations within the group the twins ran around playing when suddenly, the little girl fell. Her mom rushed over to help her up, but she refused to accept her outstretched hand. She lay there on a cold marble floor as if waiting and looking for someone else. Her brother saw her and rushed over to help. He reached out his hand and his sister smiled as if to say, “I knew you would come to help me”. She smiled, reached out and took his hand. He pulled her up, they embraced and started to play again.

Lesson – It was getting late so the parents excused themselves and left with the twins. I watched as they walked down the hall. The twins between mom and dad, holding hands, with the other hand firmly locked in the grasp of their parents. Suddenly, as though an invisible hand reached out to restrain them, the little ones stopped. Without a word, they pulled their hands from their parents and turned to face each other. They locked in a big bear hug, grinned in delight and after a few moments reached for their parent’s hand and continued walking.

As an adult, parent or grandparent what did you discover about the twin’s behavior that deserves a closer look? I saw an innocent but sincere relationship that truly exemplified the heart of Jesus Christ. Their love, care and codependence on each other pointed to something far greater than the material things of life. Their love for each other replicated the love that our heavenly Father has for us. Jesus compared the hearts of little children to the kingdom of heaven when He said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14 & 15).

Take-Away – Above all else, Jesus Christ earned the right of a Closer Look. He will reach out and lift you up every time you fall and His love, care and pure delight for you is always sufficient.

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