Chew On This One

Our small town high school football games were always the highlight of the fall. It was a chance for everyone—no matter what age—to come out and support the kids, enjoying both the camaraderie and competition of the surrounding schools. It was also a chance for students, like me at the time, to check out the other guys from neighboring schools. You can imagine my disappointment when my girlfriend called and said, “My mom says we have to bring my baby sister with us to the game.”

Great. This was just what two teenagers needed to spoil a potential fun afternoon— babysitting a four-year-old at a packed football stadium! I had visions of her whining, crying, begging for snacks and killing our dream of checking out the boys on the football team! I panicked about what would happen if—worst case scenario—we lost her or someone stole her!

My fun-filled opportunity turned sour at about half time. The toddler kept complaining that I was holding her hand too tightly. She had to go to the potty at least four times. We sat on the lower level of the bleachers, but still fought the fear that she’d slip off the back of them and tumble to the ground. I was a wreck! The only good thing happening was that our team was winning. With every touchdown, there was elation and screams of joy— fans standing, jumping and cheering. For one second, when we were captivated in the euphoria of the moment, I glanced down beside me and noticed the toddler was gone! My heart stopped. My friend started screaming her name, while I was suddenly translated into FBI mode, feverishly looking underneath the bleachers. Her mother is going to kill us, I thought to myself.

About five minutes later, we found the little girl at the far end bottom of the bleachers. She sat on the ground, face filthy, grinning from ear to ear, and was chewing a wad of something rather large. I grabbed her and picked her up and said, “What in the world is in your mouth?” She responded proudly, “Gum!” When I inquired about where she got it, she replied, quite happily, “Underneaf da seats!”

I was cured for a long time from ever agreeing to take a toddler to a football game! My friend and I ran to the ladies room, washed the girl’s mouth out with water and soap, and prayed that God would somehow protect her from whatever disease and germs she had ingested “Underneaf da seats!”

I wish you could have seen her cute little face as she proudly relayed the story of the treasure she had found that day. She had no idea how deadly that little act of “bubblegum search and rescue” could have been for her. Thank goodness, she never got sick!

Here are some fun things to “chew” on:
1. Taking a baby or toddler to a football game or a large venue with lots and lots of people will insure that you will be “underneaf” stress and pressure for sure!
2. Stay “underneaf” the protection of God. Pray daily for the covering of His Holy Spirit—in your coming and going, and especially in difficult situations when you are totally unaware!
3. Live “underneaf” the grace of God. Carol Kent’s book, Between A Rock and A Grace Place, is an amazing look at how we can discover divine places amidst the tough spots in life.
4. Walk “underneaf” the knowledge that there is no fear in Christ. He is our provider and our strong tower. He is our safe place! I guess we could say, we’re “underneaf” His wings!

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

(Originally posted on Laugh Lines, click here! (The Women's AG website) Also, more on SUEbiquitous! too!

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