article by PAUL LIPE
I REMEMBER being blind-sided by my youngest grandchild, Lilly, who turned six just a couple of months ago. My wife and I were in Dallas tending Lilly, Anna Kathryn and Jon Paul, while Sarah, the oldest of the Lipe siblings, and her parents visited Ole Miss to take a look at their School of Pharmacy – “Hotty Toddy!” It was while we were there in Dallas that my little angel ambushed me with one of her penetrating questions.
It all happened one evening, while we were sitting in the den watching one of her favorite shows on TV. Lilly crawled up in my lap, looked at me sweetly and asked, “Biddy, (her name for me) am I your favorite grandchild?” She surely did know how to put me on the spot.
What in the world prompted this question? Well, the truth is that she may have had some reason behind the query, because I have been accused by certain members of my family of showing favoritism to this little Dear. I am sure that she had heard such talk and was just trying to confirm what others had suspicioned. So, she wanted to know, was she my favorite?
I suppose that I can see how some may have reached that conclusion, because I do give lots of attention to Lilly. We play games together, go bike riding, enjoy jaunts on the golf cart, spend time at the park near her home and in the pool in her back year and have fun on the trampoline (actually, she is ON the trampoline, and I am, wisely, on the ground, watching her antics!). We also have established the favorite tradition of going for ice cream as often as an opportunity presents itself. I guess that I am guilty of spending more time with her than with most of the other Grands.
But there is a reason why that is true. You see, all of the others are so busy with a multitude of activities that make it almost impossible for them to find a time on their schedule for their old Grandfather. In addition, they have their friends with whom they want to share their spare minutes. I practically have to make an appointment in order to have any meaningful moments with them. Lilly, on the other hand, goes to kindergarten three mornings a week, giving her lots of free time, which provides for opportunities to be with her Grandfather. Besides that, her summers are practically free of activities that tie her down, while the others are engaged in multiple pursuits. The simple truth is that Lilly has time for me that the others, through no fault on their parts, just do not have, so I am taking as much advantage of that fact as I can, knowing that soon, Lilly, too, will have little time for me as her schedule gets busier and busier.
Nevertheless, I was still confronted with her question – was she my favorite. That was probably not a fair question, nor is it one that most individuals would ever pose. The lone exception that comes to mind was when Jesus confronted Peter following the Resurrection. At His trial, Jesus had been denied by Peter who, in fear for his life, had said that he did not even know “the Man.” Earlier, this same apostle had sworn that, even though all the other disciples might forsake the Lord, he would be loyal to the death. This affirmation must have come to Peter’s mind when Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love Me more than these?” Was He asking, “Do you love more than you love these?” or “Do you love me more than these love Me?” Either way, the intent is to discover who is “number one” in the heart of Peter. In my view, only Jesus is justified in putting this choice before anyone. So, is He your Favorite?
But what answer should I give to Lilly? Well, she is “number one” in my heart. But so also are Trey, Mary Hastings, Sarah, Anna Kathryn and Jon Paul. And who do I want to be their “number one?” I’ll be happy to occupy second place, if each of them will give the top spot to their Lord.
So, allow me to put this question to you: Who is the most important person in your life? How we respond to that question will play a large role in shaping the kind of lives we shall pursue.