A few days ago, my three year old grandson, Nanner - as I call him, called me on his mom's cell phone. He wanted to talk with "my papa." My grandson who is very articulate for his age began telling me about his trip with his mom to the grocery store. For twenty-five minutes Nanner described his shopping experience to me. He began, "And, now papa we are in the ceweole (cereal) isle." With several 'and ums' he continued, "And, now we are in the puppy isle (dog food) . . . " He continued to describe every facet of every isle from his little three year old mind's perspective. Suddenly the subject matter changed.
"And, ah papa . . .? AJ, (his older brother) bwurned (burned) his stomach on the stwairs (stairs)." Always intrigue by his young mind, I asked, "How did AJ get his stomach burned on the stairs?" With a condescending sigh in his voice like, "You know," he blurted, "The carpet papa!" Just enjoying his descriptions and talk I pressed on, "The carpet and the stairs?" In a bolt of excitement Nanner declared, "Yah! We activated the carpet!" In the background, his mother exploded with laughter in the store. "Yes papa, the carpet is activated, and we slide down the stwairs," he gleefully explained. He explained in an endearing three year old kind of way only a three year old can do. Then all of a sudden, "Um, I am done now. . . . And, um Papa . . . I love you. Bye!"
Besides being one of the luckiest men alive for being loved by such innocence, the conversation produced thought. Activate is defined as, "to make active or more active." It also carries the idea of, "to cause to function." Another use of the word is, "to turn on or begin with" as in activating a cell phone. To a three year old it meant, "An opportunity to learn a new experience of sliding down the stairs on one's abdomen over and over again until superficial abrasions upon the stomach and knees appear thereby causing a burning sensation indicating a need to stop said practice." Ok, well those are more my words, not so much Nanner's. :-)
After our conversation I thought, "'Activates,' what an interesting word." Questions began popping in my head, "What activates me? What activates people in general? What activates period? What activates the activator?" Just what does activate fulfillment in each and everyone of us?
As a Professional Life Coach it is a question I ask often in a variety of ways. Just what would produce fulfillment and significance for you? What is the one thing you need to change today to begin to bring about that happiness? Or, what might be the steps that if accomplished could activate you towards living life fully?
But, through the eyes of my three year old grandson, I guess it all boils to just two simple questions. Is your carpet activated? And, if not, what activates your carpet?
Just My Thoughts,
Don was born in North Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having served twenty-two years in South Africa as missionaries with his wife Kathy, and eight years pastoring in the United States, he shares unique perspectives about life, family, relationships, and ministry.