|The Gospel Of Katelynn
Category: Bible Study Devotionals
There is a little girl I see at work every day. Her name is Katelynn. She is 7-years-old, stands no more than three feet tall and completely changed the way I see life.
It all started several weeks ago when she came up to me after school had ended.
“BYE!” she shouted loudly with a wave and a wide grin.
I smiled and waved goodbye in return. I’d see her during school every day but this was the first time she’d actually said anything to me, so I was somewhat surprised. She was with her Grandma, who you could tell was just as surprised as I was. I didn’t know why she went out of her way that day to say goodbye to me, but I did know that it was nice to have someone, even as little as she was, make sure I was noticed.
And then the next came.
Again, right after school, she went looking for me, and deliberately with Grandma in toe, went out of her way, to “BYE!” very loudly with yet another wave a wide smile.
Her Grandma looked confused again as the girl wished me well as she headed off for the day. She looked at me with a smirk and rushed the little girl off so they could go home. I was confused too. This little girl had never said ANYTHING to me the entire school year and now here she was, actually looking for me, not even knowing who in the heck I was, just to say bye.
As bizarre as it was, it yet again made my day.
This happened for about a week. Until one day, Katelynn ran up to me with some sort of white controller looking device in her hand.
“LOOK! I GOT A GAME!” she exclaimed, holding up what looked to be a brand new Leap-Frog. With a smile, she held up the game and quickly dropped it down to her sides as she saw her Grandma waving her over in the distance. “BYE!” she tacked on with a small wave before she ran off.
I chuckled. This was the first time she’d anything to be but “Bye!”
But that’s just where it started.
From that day on, Katelynn has been coming up to me after school every day to tell me a brief synopsis of her day in five seconds or less.
“LOOK! I’M PLAYING MY GAME! BYE!”
“I GOT A PAPER CROWN IN CLASS! BYE!”
“I’M GOING TO THE BEACH TODAY! BYE!”
This has seriously become an event I look forward to after work every single day.
A few weeks ago ago, Katelynn, obviously fired up about something, ran up to me as I stood there and waited for my daily report. Her face lit up as she held up her hands to the sky ever-so dramatically and announced “I’M GOING TO STARBUCKS FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!”
I widened my eyes to show her how ‘shocked’ I was. “No way!” I exclaimed
She nodded, “YES!!! I’M EXCITED!!!” she cried.
I chuckled, “well make sure you get something good, okay?”
I waved her off as I do every day and let her be on her way. Never had I seen someone so excited about going to Starbucks before in my life. You think she’d just gotten engaged by the way she was jumping around and squealing.
The same thing went on for several more days before yet another monumental occasion late last week.
She came up after school with wide eyes and held out her hands, tucked in her little fingers was the smallest purple flower I’d ever seen. With a big sigh, she looked up and cheered “LOOK!!! I HAVE A FLOWER!!!”
I examined it for a moment, “that’s so pretty!” I stated simply.
She waved it around in my face, “SEE MY FLOWER?!?!” she said again.
Obviously she noticed I wasn’t as excited about the flower as she was.
I upped it up a bit, “yes!” I cheered with large smile!.
She continued to wave it in my face as she said “BYE!” and ran back over to Grandma, who at this point, was used to this every day.
Once school had ended and most everyone had gone home for the day, I began silently contemplating what Katelynn had shown me earlier. It was a little, wilting purple flower that, in the eyes of you or I, probably wouldn’t hold much significance, but to her, it was like she’d just discovered the 8th wonder of the world.
“It’s just a flower” I thought to myself, hating how that horrible cynical side of me rears it’s ugly head from time to time.
But that was just it. To her, it’s wasn’t “just a flower,” it was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen.
And a few weeks earlier, it wasn’t just a “trip to Starbucks,” it was something new she’d never done before. Going to the beach, playing a game… she would get SO excited about all these that, to me, were every day tasks I never gave a second thought to. They were normal. They were “life.”
Yet to Katelynn, they were something so much more.
Early on in the year one of the things I felt God teaching me was that I needed to start treating every day of my life like an adventure. For the longest time, I had no clue what that meant. When I think adventure, I think fairy tales. I think Pirates, I think Ogres, I think Princesses being rescued from tall towers in far away lands. What on earth did God mean by treating every day like an “adventure”?
I tend to treat to treat God like I‘m not supposed to get Him. I think everything needs to be some theological diamond and miss out on the fact that from time to time, God just wants to lay it all out there. Not everything has to be a deep profound lesson. Sometimes, the greatest revelations come in a sentence.
If you’re anything like myself, you have a horrible habit of settling for the same ol’ same ol’. Wake up, get coffee, read your bible, go to work, eat dinner, check Facebook, go to sleep. Day in. Day out. And while your schedule probably looks much different than mine, you still go through life numb to those every day tasks like walking the dog or mowing the lawn.
When is the last time you got genuinely excited about going to Starbucks? Or going to the beach? When did you last get SO excited about seeing a purple flower that it caused you unexplainable joy? Why does it takes something big to awake that childlike sense of excitement within our hearts? Why can’t we just be eager to the post office or spend an hour grocery shopping?
Why can’t we be more like Katelynn? To whom, every moment of every day is a big deal.
I went to a free concert several weeks back. I left at 4:00 am to get good seats (yes, I’m a psycho.)
As I was driving, something in me snapped. I cranked the radio as loud as it would go as I zoomed down the freeway singing at the top of my lungs, taking in as many of the sights as I could (without crashing.) I remember getting to my destination earlier than expected and decided to go on an impromptu trip to the beach down the street and watch the sunrise.
As the pink and purple skies began to immerge, I found myself starting tearing up as I sat in the car and watched the sun come up. I’ve seen numerous sunrises in my 20 years on earth, but never before had I been so moved by what I‘d seen. You’d think I’d NEVER seen the sun before in my life.
As the day progressed, so did my excitement about simply being alive. I went to the concert and enjoyed it more than any show I’d been to in awhile. I went out to lunch afterwards and felt giddy about just being in the booth and waiting for my food. This, for me, was not normal.
“What in the world is going on, God?” I thought as I sat there and giggled to myself, “either I’m high, or You’re up to something…”
Thankfully, it was the ladder of the two.
I finally realized that day what God meant by treating every day like an adventure: He wanted me to be more like Katelynn.
He wants me to start treating the mundane tacks in my life like so much more than mere items to check off my “to-do” list. He wants me to take joy in the minor just as much as I take joy in the profound. He wants me to thrive, to find the beauty in everything, to appreciate every moment I get to experience in life, even when it hurts and even when it’s hard. It’s what makes life worth living. It was makes every day following Jesus an adventure.
I can’t see a purple flower anymore without smiling from ear-to-ear. I know what it means now. It might just be a flower, but in the beautiful existence I’m get to call my life, it means SO much more.
Christ didn’t live and die so we could “exist” till we get to heaven. He did it so we could LIVE and get the smallest foretaste of what lies ahead for us in eternity.
I don’t see life the same way anymore. I don’t treat life the same way anymore. God forbid I wake up and grab a cup of coffee feeling hollow inside. I want that smallest of task to be something I can look at God and say “HEY! LOOK! I GOT COFFEE!”
It sounds silly. And you know what? It is. It’s called childlike faith. We’re called to it.
I challenge you as you go on with your life starting now to live it like the grandest adventure imaginable. Enjoying the highs and learning from the lows, seeing everything, even when it’s tough, the way God does… with excitement in your heart and a smile on your face.
Your life is the greatest adventure you will ever experience. You only get once chance at living it. Make it a story worth telling.