Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

I was taken by surprise when I exited the Denver airport this past weekend. Out of the corner of my mind’s eye, I saw a little girl running on chubby legs, arms up, yelling, “Nana, Nana, Nana,” and throwing herself into my outstretched arms. Kate was fifteen months old at the time. Tomorrow, we pick her up at the Phoenix airport, a grown-up young lady of ten, who will travel alone for the first time. She is headed here for the weekend to attend the Tucson Rodeo, a gift for her birthday. How time flies!

There is no pretense in Kate – what you see is what you get. She goes all out for whatever strikes her fancy whether it is horses, or books, of cooking, or music, or swimming, or even shopping. Kate believes she can do just about anything, even if she has never tried it before. I remember watching her pitch at her softball game last summer, never having even thrown the ball in practice. She was sure she could do it…until the coach put her in the game. Cold, hard reality hit and I read the consternation on her face. All of a sudden, the old adage, practice, practice, practice, took on new meaning.

How many times do we head off over the cliff without checking our egos at the door, assuming success?

In need of some time alone, Jesus took three disciples with him up on a mountain to pray. The three fell asleep and when they awoke, they observed Moses, Elijah, and a transformed Jesus talking. Always impetuous and in awe of the men before him, Peter lobbied to build shelters as memorials for the three and wouldn’t stop talking about it. Finally, God, Almighty, appeared in a cloud and spoke, ” This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” (Luke 9:35) Imagine Peter’s reaction. I wonder if he felt foolish? Rather than telling the others, we know from scripture that they kept it all to themselves.

Parents love seeing enthusiasm in their children. I’m sure God shook his head at Peter and chuckled. He would be that kind of kid who threw himself wholeheartedly into any fray. However, God knew that time, circumstances, and training would temper that reckless abandon in Peter and smooth out the rough edges. He had a plan for Peter and his role as leader and spokesman for the Gospel emerged as he learned to listen to the One who had the answers for eternal life.

Embrace life fully… just listen up!