Jackson Five Friday: Never. Stop. Skipping.

If you know much about my son, Sam, you know he’s a skipper. And no, I’m not talking about commanding a vessel. I mean he is a person that skips. Constantly.

Yesterday I chaperoned a field trip to a Colonial Farm — we experienced all things 1771, making candles and pounding corn into meal with the genuine tools of that long-ago day. When Sam would fall behind the group he would nonchalantly skip along the gravel path pictured above to catch up. I love watching him. He has no awareness that this is anything out of the ordinary.

Spring is crazy busy for me because all three of my boys play baseball. I run from one game to the next and spend a significant amount of time just planning how I can get three people to three different venues all at once. One day I was at Sam’s game feeling harried and hurried. He was decked out in catcher’s gear to play behind the plate in the bottom of the inning. It was then he came to me with an urgent need to use the bathroom.

I probably made some remark like, “Really?!?”

Anyway I took him, gear and all, to a somewhat nearby but hopefully discreet bush. When he was done I said, “Now hustle back to the dugout!”

You know what he did? He joyfully skipped back to the dugout, catcher’s gear and all. The video image of that, recorded only in mind’s eye, will always be treasured.

Because skipping is like a physical manifestation of joy and contentment. Have you ever seen an angry skipper? A depressed skipper? An anxious skipper? I haven’t either.

Skipping is an affirmative rejection of the need for approval. There’s an element of it that says, “I really don’t care what you think.” For Sam it’s even more than that. He doesn’t appear to recognize someone even could think something of it.

My prayer for him is that he never stops skipping. That he never loses this joyful abandon, this comfort in his own skin, that even if he skips less physically that the heart attitude skipping manifests will stay with him always.

Heavenly Father, may Sam seek the approval of You alone; may he never be conformed to the pattern of this world. Instead may he be transformed by the renewing of his mind. Then he will be able to test and approve Your will — Your good, pleasing and perfect will. (Colossians 3:23, Romans 12:2). In Jesus’ name, amen.

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