I have lots of friends who take their grandchildren to Disneyland or Disney World. They take each grandchild, one by one, on a memory trip there at about the time of their ninth birthday. They tell me about the memories they have made on these special journeys.

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Titus under the water dump.

I think this is a great idea, but my wife and I don’t have the financial means for it. And at the age I’ll be when my grandsons turn 9, I don’t know if I want to chase them through a maze built by a mouse. But I do admire any grandparents who want to take their grandchildren on a special journey.

I am intrigued by the comment Jesus made in John 14:3:  “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” It reminds of the kind of stories you would likely hear in an episode of “Little House on the Prairie,” where the husband would leave his wife behind and go build her a home. It seemed as though he was gone forever. When the young man had finished, he would return to get his bride, pack their belongings and take her to their new house.

The bride was in tears as she caught the first glimpse of the house her husband built. As they pulled up to their new home, she couldn’t wait to run inside and inspect the rooms. The husband stood at the door with his calloused hands on each side, watching as she surveyed the home. Seeing the satisfaction on her face, he smiled from ear to ear, having built a place that pleased her.

Rite of Passage: Preparing a Place - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma

Titus and Cohen under the water dump.

Jesus told his small group of followers that He was going to go and make a place, not any old place but a special place for those who are part of His family. He said He would come and get us, whether it be through an individual’s death or the end times, when he would come collecting all of his children to take home. We should look forward to going to this place with great anticipation.

Since I have no plans of taking my grandchildren to someplace like Disney World, I thought I should build them something in my backyard that would provide a great sense of anticipation. One day, we were at a local park that has a splash pad, a great and extremely cheap way to entertain children. On this particular day, Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted loved what they called the “Water Dump Bucket.” Water dribbles into this bucket, high on a pole, and as it collects more water, it leans more and more. Suddenly, it would tumble forward, spilling its contents on the children below.

Two months ago, I sat down and tried to figure out how to build one of these water dump buckets in my backyard. First, I took the boys’ swing set apart, and using the lumber, I began to design a new and improved, bigger and better one. From the top of their “Moore Boys Adventures” clubhouse, I built an eight-foot pergola that projects off one end of the swing set and out over their little swimming pool.

As I was redoing the swing set, I sent picture updates over to the boys, telling them, “Poppy is building something special for you.” Full of anticipation, they wanted to come see it. But I wasn’t ready.

Now that I had the arm that extended out over the swimming pool, I needed to figure out how to make the “dumping bucket.” I found a two-gallon oil funnel, the kind used to put oil in a diesel truck or tractor. The top of the funnel is not round but oblong, with the bottom of the funnel off-center. I ran a bar through the center and mounted it on the end of the pergola. Then I ran a PVC pipe up the side of the swing set and installed a shower head. When the shower head ran, it would sprinkle the water into the funnel, and as it got fuller and fuller, it would tip toward the boys.

After I got it installed and working, I sent a video to the boys. They begged their mom and dad to bring them to our house; I told them they could come and spend the day on Saturday.

Saturday morning, I heard the doorbell ring, and there they stood two little boys grinning from ear to ear, carrying their inflatable toys. The water was freezing, but they didn’t care; they screamed with happiness. Poppy had prepared a place for them.

The place Jesus has prepared for those who believe in Him is even better. Will you join Him there?