iPod Touch Down

Our seven year old, Carson, loves Angry Birds. He loves video games in general but he can’t seem to get enough of catapulting colored birds through the air to kill the taunting green pigs. I hate to admit it, but I like it too. There’s something so satisfying about shattering wood and glass and blowing up the TNT boxes to kill the pigs. If you haven’t played, I realize it sounds a little twisted but try it and you’ll see why so it’s so much fun.

Anyway, against our better judgment we bought Carson an iPod touch for Christmas because we didn’t want him playing Angry Birds on our iPhones anymore. Aside from some little stocking stuffers, the iPod was his main gift.

Carson played with it non-stop. so much in fact that we had to take it away at night because we would catch him under the covers playing when he was supposed to be sleeping.

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Last weekend Carson’s 16 year old cousin Cameron came over. He asked if he could play with the iPod touch. Carson was glad to share with him but after a while he asked if he could have it back. No one was there to witness it so we don’t know exactly how it went down, but we heard an argument ensue from upstairs and then some scuffling around. A few seconds later, we heard that unmistakable sound of glass shattering on the tile below. It was followed by fast footsteps down the stairs and then screaming. Even from the living room where we were visiting with friends, there was no question what had happened.

Less than three weeks after getting it, Carson’s iPod was broken. It took a long time to calm him, but once we did, we tried to have a logical conversation about the fact that accidents happen and this was just an accident.

Carson wouldn’t hear it. He said it was all Cameron’s fault and that he did it on purpose.

Although I was sad for him and I was irritated that it happened, there was an obvious opportunity to speak truth into our son’s life that day. We explained that bad things happen sometimes and that no matter how careful we are, stuff breaks. We reminded him that people are so much more important than stuff and that one day everything we have, our house, our cars, and our favorite things will be nothing but dust. (It’s the second law of thermodynamics. Everything in a closed system eventually breaks down.) Of course I didn’t say that part, but by the time we were done, he understood. Still, he was sad, and he was angry with his cousin.

We sat the two of them down together and asked what had happened. Apparently, there was a tug of war and when Cameron finally let go of the iPod Carson didn’t have a good grip on it. The iPod hit the carpet and briefly slid before making it’s exit under the stair railonto the tile floor below.

Eventually Cameron apologized and Carson forgave him.

Surprisingly, it was a hard day for us too. Not because of the broken iPod but because we realized that we can’t protect our son from things that hurt him. Loss is immanent in this life.

At the end of the day, it was just a toy. Carson learned that it’s not what we have that makes us happy knowing that Jesus loves us and putting our hope in Him is the only thing that brings true contentment.

Funny thing is, Carson hasn’t said much about his iPod since the incident. I guess he was a lot less attached to it than he thought he was. What he didn’t think he could live without is nothing but a faint memory now.

In Matthew 19:21-26
Jesus was talking to a rich man who had lots of stuff. He wanted to know what he could do to have eternal life. When he asked Jesus how he could accomplish that.

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

I hope that as we raise our son and we are given opportunities to teach him, we will help him avoid the pitfall of the rich young ruler who was so attached to his stuff that he couldn’t bear to leave it behind in order to follow Jesus.

As for me, I need to hold my favorite things more loosely. I thought we were teaching Carson a lesson that day, but as it turns out, he was teaching me one too. Sometimes we can lose sight of the prize and we are lured back into trap of materialism before we even realize it’s happened.

Here’s a challenge: Is there something you are holding on to that is becoming more important than it should? Are you willing to evaluate it and ask God whether it needs to go in order to make room for Him to inhabit the space it’s been taking up in your life?

 

Ringless in Christ,

Ali Eastburn
Executive Director
With This Ring

 

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2 Responses

  1. Good lesson, I love those teachable moments, when things like that happen it’s much easier for our children to comprehend, then just verbally telling them about the importance of things in life.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more, but it is hard as a parent to watch our kids learn hard lessons, isn’t it?

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