Sunday, May 22, 2005 (FoxNews) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,157268,00.html
ELKHART, Ind. — A 3-year-old boy upset that his mother wouldn't let him use a crane vending machine to try to win a small stuffed animal took matters in his own hands. He climbed up the chute to get the prize himself.
Danielle Manges (search) said she took her eyes off her son, James, for a moment to pick up a juice bottle he threw. When she looked up, he was in with the plush toys. "I bent over to clean it and within two seconds he had climbed through the hole, into the chute and pushed the door shut so we couldn't get him out," she said. "He climbed up in the toys and was in there for a good hour."
Manges said James has been sick and sleeping odd hours so they went shopping about 3 a.m. Thursday at a Wal-Mart in the city some 15 miles east of South Bend (search). She let the boy play on some of the rides, but wouldn't give him money for the vending machine.
At first, Manges thought it was funny. "He was playing with all the toys and hanging from the bar like a monkey," she said. Manges said people leaving the store went back inside to buy disposable cameras to take photos of her son. She bought one herself.
She became upset, however, when Wal-Mart (search) employees said they did not have a key to let James out. So Manges called the fire department for help.
"I expected his hand to be caught in the machine but it was his entire body in the machine," firefighter Anthony Coleman said. "He was swinging from a bar, jumping around. He was having a ball." About 40 people watched as the firefighters removed the back of the machine and freed him.
James still came up empty handed. "He definitely didn't get a toy after that," Manges said.
Besides the fact that James needs some discipline (remember, he executed the entry into the toy machine while mom was distracted because SHE had to pick up a juice bottle HE had thrown), I managed to find something a bit deeper in this story.
We're all pretty much following James' example in the way we deal with our wants & desires... when God doesn't come through on our time table, we crawl up into the machine of the world to get it ourselves.
James got off easy - he only inconvenienced some firefighters. But for many of us, the damage is a lot worse than losing a toy. We lose marriages, we lose jobs, we lose friendships, we lose our self-respect, we lose our dignity, we lose so many things in a quest to get "what I deserve". And that thing, that position, that relationship, whatever... crumbles to dust in our hands when we finally grab it.
I'll go to any lengths
sacrifice all that I already have and all that I might give
just to get something more I don't need and Lord please don't ask me what for
the lust the flesh the eyes and the pride of life
drain the life right out of me
the 77's Question of the Day: what is eating at you, calling you to crawl into the "machine"...? Now, will you choose to wait on God rather than grab whatever it is for yourself? But me, I'm not giving up.
I'm sticking around to see what GOD will do.
I'm waiting for God to make things right.
I'm counting on God to listen to me.
Micah 7:7 (The Message)
This article originally appeared in the 6/23/05 edition of "the Grapevine", the e-newsletter of NewLife Community Church.