Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Fourth

Had Jesus possessed fireworks, I think he would have used them as teaching tools.

On Sunday night, I sat with my 3 boys and my parents at the park in Robinson, IL. A lack luster all-star baseball game was finishing up (12-4 was the final). We sat on some hard, wooden bleachers. Then the lights went out.

What followed was 30 minutes of part light, part sound, part sparkle and part magic. Lit fuses began a journey that ended in reds and greens, blues and purples. Sonic booms brought "ooh's" and "ah's" from the crowd. I craned my neck to watch each and every one.

One toddler sitting below us on the bleachers began with scared sobs. Then she managed to dare watching over her dad's shoulder. By the end, she was watching with wonder and calling out the colors with all the energy of a life just begun (Gween! Wed! Pawple!).

The finale came, lighting up the sky and scaring birds in every direction. We got up, stretched our aching backsides and followed the crowds to our parked car. My boys hopped along my side, skipping and talking excitedly about their favorite one.

And as we walked, my mind turned to something Jesus once said. "Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." I think I see his point. Some things have to die for other things - far greater things - to live. A wheat kernel is fairly unimpressive. A wheat stalk swaying in a field of gold - wow! A tightly wrapped bundle of explosives with a fuse - yawn. A green and blue explosion that fades to buzzing "bees" swarming in the sky - I'll make an appointment to watch that every year.

Unless a firecracker is set aflame and burned, it remains only a single novelty. But if it dies, it produces more wow's than you can imagine.

Yeah, I think Jesus would have used fireworks for teaching tools. Don't you?

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