Since the birth of River the Peacemaker, I have not had much one-on-one time with either Titus the Honorable or Cohen the Goodhearted.

Rite of passage: What do you want? - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma

Titus the Honorable

Recently, I trimmed some trees and needed to haul the branches to the mulching yard to be recycled. I thought Titus would get a kick out of unloading my truck, watching the bulldozer shove the branches into a pile and then observing how the crane swoops down to pick up the branches and dump them into the grinder, which shoots out a stream of mulch. I knew even if Titus didn’t get a kick out of it, his Poppy sure would.

I picked up Titus early Saturday morning; we were both wearing our “Moore Adventure” hats as we scrambled into the loaded truck.

We had planned to stop at a grocery store and pick up something for breakfast. We had talked about donuts and chocolate milk, but as Titus stood in front of the bakery counter, he changed both of our minds. I am not sure how he does that, for I was really set on eating a donut.

But we were now chowing down on two large chocolate chunk cookies. As we wandered through the store, looking for a drink to wash down our cookies, I told him to pick anything he wanted.
As we were checking out, he picked up a telescoping flyswatter and asked, “Can I have this?”

“No,” I responded.

“But I always wanted one.”

“I already bought you a flyswatter; what happened to it?”

“I can’t find it.”

Then I realized what was going on. When I told Titus he could pick anything he wanted, I meant he could choose any drink. But he thought I had given him carte blanche to buy anything in the store. And what did he want? A telescoping flyswatter.

Dear Titus the Honorable,

We had a great time Saturday morning watching the big machines do their work, and as always, the best thing that happened that morning was that I got to spend time with you. You and I working together, laughing together, and me hearing about life from a 5 1/2 year-old’s perspective have become some of my most treasured moments.

But, my friend, I would like to share something with you. If I had really given you carte blanche to get anything in the store, do you think a flyswatter would have been the best choice? Did you know they had New York cuts of steak and filet mignon in the back, as well as exotic coffees? Did you know that the items you found near the cash register are called impulse items? Nothing there is necessary for living.

Jesus was someone who asked a lot of questions. I hope as you get older you will study the questions He asked, for they will help you gain a much deeper understanding of Him. The two questions He asked most were “Who do you say I am?” and “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Matt. 16:13-20, Mark 10:51).

These two questions are intertwined. If you can answer the first correctly, you will know how to answer the second. Who do others say Jesus is? Some say He is a prophet; others say He is a good teacher, but these answers only show their limited knowledge.

My little adventure buddy, Jesus is the King of kings, the Creator of the universe. All things were made by Him and for Him, and He keeps everything together. He is the Alpha and Omega, the authority over all other authorities; there is no one above Him. He is the bread of life, the ever-satisfying water, the cornerstone of everything good and holy. He is Judge and grace; He is the one who sets us free, and those He sets free are free indeed. He is my rock, my hope, my peace, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Lord. He is the Holy servant, the I Am and my deliverer. In him I find no fault. And my little buddy, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

So when Jesus asks, “What can I do for you?” think long and hard, because Jesus doesn’t reside at the impulse counter. Those are subtle substitutes. He has much more to offer than a stick of gum, breath mints or telescoping flyswatters; He has filet mignon.

When Jesus asks me what I want, I tell Him I want you and your brothers to know Him deeply, follow Him passionately and experience the peace that passes all understanding.

One more thing, Titus: The reason I didn’t buy you the flyswatter is because someone could have gotten hurt with it, and that someone would probably have been me!

Your loving Poppy