Summers in Texas can get quite hot. As a young child I remember that the ice cream truck would slowly roll through our neighborhood at just the right time. Somewhere between being hot and sweaty from playing in the sun and just about ready to sit in the shade for awhile. One summer day as it made its’ usual rounds through the neighborhood I happened to be across the street at a friends house with several other kids and their mothers came out to pay for their kids to have ice cream. I desperately wanted a push-up which is that orange sherbert thing in the polka dot cardboard cylinder. Remember those? I can still taste them.
So, all my friends were getting ice cream and of course being 5 years old I had no money and in the fray of yelling and mothers paying I hear my mom a little ways down the block and across the street calling for me to come home. But, I didn’t want to leave the truck because maybe one of the other moms would notice I didn’t have anything and get me my push-up. My mom keeps calling for me and now I am torn because if I leave now I may not get my ice cream, but I could tell my mom was getting increasingly frustrated with me for not coming when she called with each succesive call. Eventually everything settled down, all the other moms went back inside and all my friends were enjoying there ice cream and popsicles in the shade under a tree on the ground.
And, I just stood there a little angry and disappointed that I didn’t get anything and none of the other mothers even bothered to notice! My mom is still calling me so I angrily stomp home and as I am approaching my mom I rather angrily say, “WHAT!?” To which she replies, “I was only calling you because I wanted to give you some money for the ice cream truck,” she stood there for a moment then shook her head and went back inside.
So, my question to you is, how many times have you stubbornly stood by the ice cream truck in your life thinking that being close to what you want will get you the thing you so desire when all the while everyone around you is desperately trying to give you what you need to get what you want? Does that make sense? Let me say it another way.
Our greatest lesson in life is learning how to love. Our highest purpose is becoming experts at giving and receiving love. Everyone we encounter on our journey as we walk through this world is here to teach us this singular lesson as we are here to teach them this very same lesson. How well we receive our “teachers” lessons determines not only if we get what we want, but also enables us to know ourselves well enough to want what we need. Still confused about how ice cream trucks and learning to love correlate? No worries…I’m not entirely sure either, but that’s the journey I’m taking with you and hopefully it’s the same journey you are taking with me.