Yesterday I read the book, Grasshopper on the Road, by Arnold Lobel with my seven year old son. Even though the audience for this classic story is the beginning reader set, there are valuable lessons for us all. This is especially true now that life seems to be racing at the speed of light. We often miss opportunities God has placed in our path because we are moving to fast, focusing on the tedium of the day or isolating ourselves from others.
Grasshopper decides to go on a journey. Along the way he meets various characters who are too busy to enjoy the life around them. The first group is a group of beetles who are part of The Morning Club. They like all things "morning" and nothing else. Grasshopper is made an honorary member until he says that he also likes afternoon and evening time. At that point, he is kicked out of the club.
Another character grasshopper meets is the housefly. Housefly is too busy cleaning all day to enjoy the beautiful day outside. He is even sweeping the dirt on the road!
Then there are the dragonflies who are constantly speeding around and never slowing down long enough to notice what is going on around them. Three butterflies miss great opportunities because they do the same thing EVERYday at the same time EVERYday and in the same way EVERYday.
And so it goes. Grasshopper continues to meet character after character who are missing out on some of life's best things.
A great discussion followed this book reading. We talked about how each character was probably missing out and why that was so. We discussed ourselves or others we know that exhibit traits these characters have. We talked about how we could miss out on God's best for us if we are not willing to walk out in faith when called to do so.
One of the great blessings of homeschooling my children is getting to curl up next to them so often and enjoy great literature. From first readers to the classics, I relish them all and the special moments they allow us to share.