By Reba Phelps
When I was young I attended the Pre-School of Eva Gail Procell. I never attended a daycare or attended pre-kindergarten. But, this was somewhat common back in those days. I vividly remember cooking with my mom, cleaning house and most importantly, stopping for the soap operas. This would be the beginning of my love for a story well told.
Aside for learning the basics in life she also took time to read my favorite books. As most parents will agree, when a child finds a favorite book they want it read aloud at least five times a day. The child also knows that if you skip a page or read too fast then you must start over. You must take your time and enjoy it as if it were new every single time.
My book of choice was a Sesame Street book called, “The Monster at the end of this Book”. Gosh, it never got old. It would make me laugh beyond control. Side splitting humor. It was almost as if it was new every time she read it. The plot involved the lovable character, Grover, as he was trying his best to keep you from turning the pages of the book. Only because there was a scary monster at the end of it.
He was only protecting the reader of the book.
Grover used every obstacle that he could think of to keep you safe. He nailed the pages down. He used ropes to tie the pages together. Every time you turn a page Grover gets so upset and begs you not to keep going. He even puts up a heavy duty brick wall that you will surely not be strong enough to get past. Grover evens brags on how strong you are to move past all of his obstacles but complains about the mess you are making along the way.
Once you tear down his last wall he is completely exasperated and gives up. By this point the anticipation and curiosity is so intense that you cannot wait to see this awful and scary monster in which he is trying to prevent from being seen.
My mother was an animated and energetic reader so she really played up the drama while reading to me. She would add extra lines as well, “Reba… are you sure you want to see the monster on the next page?”
Of course I was ready….I had already seen this monster at least one hundred times….and I always marveled at the sight.
Once the very last page was turned and you were mentally prepared to meet the monster you quickly find out that the monster is Grover, himself. Grover was so embarrassed and spent the rest of the book apologizing and trying to laugh off the fact that he was the dreadful monster that everyone should have been afraid to meet.
There is so much truth to this children’s tale that could be applied to my own life this very day.
As hard as it is to admit, sometimes we are the only scary monster found in the pages of our own life’s book. We try to hide all of our monstrous traits that may hint at imperfections. We conceal the bad parts that we don’t want others to notice. And, just like Grover, we work overtime just trying to keep others out when we should be letting them in.
The pages of my book are riddled with a multitude of mistakes, wins, losses and day to day weariness that will occasionally lead to horrible decisions. In life it so much easier to blame others for our own failures. At the end of the day, we are the only one we can blame for our actions. For me, anytime I travel outside the will of God for my life, it simply never ends well. I am definitely my own monster and I am eternally grateful that God sees my heart and knows how my story will end….even though I work overtime to keep him from turning the pages.
“God sees not as man sees for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7