The magic of reset is no magic at all

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, December 28, 2018
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Recently, I had the privilege of watching my granddaughter have a meltdown. Yes, when we are invited into these sacred moments, it is a privilege. It means they feel safe and are okay with letting it all out knowing that those nearby will love them still. I doubt that any preschooler is thinking this way, but grandma is. I see it as an opportunity to teach.

I didn’t always see things that way. Why, I do believe when my own had a meltdown or two, I joined in fullfledged and had one of my own a time or two, or three or four. I could give you reasons why I didn’t have the wear-with-all, the excuses are many. I’ve grown since then and have gained perspective.

At any rate, in the middle of this sacred moment I was.

I took the little one who was emotionally spent over something she didn’t even understand and held her.

“I’m not having a good day. I want to start over!” she sobbed. From her perspective, life was one big insurmountable beast with little hope.

“Hey,” I offered. “I think we need to push the reset button so we can begin again! Yes, that’s it. Let’s just start the day all over.”

The nearest round button was on the toy box nearby and for some reason, she was delighted. She quickly pushed the decorative button upon the cloth box and her tears came to a halt. Magically, she reset her little mind for the day.

That was one week ago.

Today, once again, life appeared to be overwhelming. Things were not going as planned and she was frustrated. I tried the reset button idea, but she was not buying! She squared her little shoulders and refused to participate in pressing the button. She was stuck.

I grabbed the nearest electronic device as an idea was downloading within me. As I typed word, reset button, into the search engine, I clicked on the image that came up. This little one needed more than words, she needed something substantial to hang her heart onto ... something visual.

“Look!” I pointed to the image before us. Two words popped up for “reset”: “Choose Joy.”

“Never, ever, does Jesus say that we are supposed to just have a good day. He does not tell us to pray for joy. He says to ‘Choose Joy!’” I tried desperately to speak life back into her little heart.

Her heart took in the information as I held my breath to see if she was buying what I was selling. The author of those words knew much more than all of us when He wrote them. I did not doubt His Word would have its way, in due season. I was just hoping that it might permeate sooner than later because we both needed a miracle to help regulate our breathing.

Her eyes opened widely as did her hands as she held them open repeating the words that brought her heart back into rhythm while she began to relax. As she hopped on out of my arms she said aloud, “Choose Joy” and scampered off to play.

Today, with hands wide open, I, too, choose joy, because He said to. James 1:2-3. 1Peter 1:8-9 supports this theme as well as Rom. 15:13. Look them up and look up as you, too, choose joy. Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)