“Daadddyyyy, it fell again!” Noah says with tears welling up in his eyes, “I keep trying to build a tower, but it keeps falling.” At first I get annoyed. He is interrupting my attempt at surprising my wife with finished laundry, and I want to get this done. Rebecca’s only been gone for a few minutes, and I’m already done hearing silly questions. I try to ignore him.
“Daaadddyyy, it fell over again!” This time he pushes over the rest of the tower in frustration.
I stop folding my daughter’s newly cleaned pink pants, and look over at my devastated contractor. I can tell from his facial expressions, that he feels like a failure. He’s done everything he can to build the tower he sees in his mind, but he can’t get past the third story. I look past his defeated expression and see a small stack of Legos trying their best to hold up a much larger stack of legos. Noah’s tower is obviously top-heavy.
Remembering that Noah is only 4-years-old, my frustration with being interrupted fades and I see an opportunity to teach him a very important life lesson. I get up from the couch, pause the podcast I’m listening to, and lay down on the floor next to him.
“Noah, look at me,” I say.
Noah looks at me with two big crocodile tears—one on each side of his face—resting on the top of his cheeks.
“Noah, for the rest of your life towers that you work so hard to build are going to fall. Sometimes it will be lego towers that fall. Sometimes relationships that you’ve invested in will fall apart. Sometimes people you care about will let you down. And sometimes you will work so hard to achieve something, and it will look like it’s just right, and then something or someone swoops in and knocks it down. From now until you are way, way, way older than daddy, things are going to happen that are disappointing and that make you feel like a failure.
But when that happens, don’t let it ruin your day or make you discouraged. When towers fall, it either means that the idea was never supposed to work out in the first place, and it will be better for us—in the long run—that the tower fell. Or It may mean that we need to consider re-building the foundation and start over.
Look at your tower, bud. Do you see how this one thin layer of legos is holding up this big platform of legos you’re building?”
“I bet if you put another stack of legos here to help hold up your tower, that it won’t fall down and you can build it higher than ever.”
Noah grabs a few more legos and places them under the platform. Sure enough, that second layer of legos is just enough to hold up the rest of the tower.
“And we know, that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.” Romans 8:28