by Randy Chambers, 2004-08-25
My mother told me my grandmother had said that she hoped I would live to see eighteen.
Apparently, there was evidence suggesting the contrary. Im sure as grandma watched
her devil of a grandson, daring the world to come up with something he wouldnt try,
she must have shook her head in fearful disbelief. I think she must have watched from a
distance, though, because I never really remember being around grandma very much. Im
not sure if it was because I was too busy, running from one adventure to the next; or if
it was the wisdom of her years that kept her from standing too close to where the
lightning might strike next.
What my mothers perspective of me was like while I was growing up, I can only
imagine. Its a wonder the gray hairs did not come sooner than they did. Whereas I
would say that my older brother and younger sister gave her a crown of motherly glory; I
gave her the lumps upon which her crown would rest. God blessed her with the joys of
motherhood, and with my help, He gave her characterat least, I like to see it that
way. I think if I were to ask her, she just might agree. On second thought, I think she
just might drop her eyes to the ground, shake her head, and slowly walk away.
Slowly walk awaynow that was something I should have done more often. But those
insatiable urges overcame me. I would simply be going about my day, minding my own
business, then boom! A brilliant idea would pop into my head. What was a boy to do? There
were just far too many wonderful things to learn. Things like: target arrows will
penetrate garage windows, aluminum trashcans, and older brothers model ships;
playing with a tether ball attached to a close line can result in a rope burn around the
neck; and building a makeshift arc welder and using it in your bedroom can cut power to
pretty much the entire house. Blankets do not make good parachutes. Bonfires are bad ideas
indoors. Tire chains on a car do not make it a snowmobile. And gerbils will not appreciate
being spun on a record player at 78 rpm no matter how hard you try to make it resemble an
amusement park ride. Gasoline ignites quickly. Cutting rope with a kitchen knife is best
done with the blade facing away from you. And police may know more about what youve
been up to than you think.
Besides the headaches I gave my mother, I would be remiss if I forgot the fear I stirred
in her. The fear, perhaps, that grandmas worries I wouldnt make it to eighteen
could come true. I would have to say it is amazing she ever let me out of her sight. But I
have to thank God that she did. While she was learning motherly lessons raising me, I had
my own life lessons to learnsome were harder to learn than others.
Sometime ago, in a Christian bookstore, I picked up one of those little cards that tell
you the meaning of your name. My name has a double meaning; it means both protector, and
protected. As I look back and remember the close callsmost of them involving my
78 Plymouth Furrythere is no doubt in my heart that I am protected. God has
seen me through.
I passed eighteen over thirty years agodue mostly to the prayers of my parents and
grandmother Im certain. I really do not know just how many times God has intervened
on my behalf. I have had lessons learned the easy way, and lessons learned the hard way.
Some of them Id like to forget. Some of them I will never be allowed to forget as
they still make for fun conversation topic when the family comes together. But all of them
have become to me a treasure, reminding me each day Whose child I am, and of my
Fathers hand of protection that continues to keep me safe.