Granddaddy didn’t have much money. That explains some of the ways he chose to entertain us when we would visit him during our childhood summers. Some things we did routinely, like riding on the tailgate of the truck or watching wrestling late at night while lying on the sleeper sofa with my brothers , were cheap or free. There were a few times we participated in activities that were a onetime event that were also cheap and free. One afternoon Granddaddy loaded us up in his little white truck and drove us to his friend’s house. It was an old, fairly dilapidated house with an old extremely dilapidated fence (mostly made of wood pallets). An old man about my granddaddy’s age and girth met us at the backyard gate to let us in. This yard was very similar to Granddaddy’s: much junk and little grass.
Now, there’s no way to poetically or artfully describe this. So I’ll just tell it like it was. There were two old men, two scrawny, squirmy prepubescent boys, a yard full of nail filled wood, rusty engine blocks, old tires a 2 x 4, and a mean, stubborn donkey. We, my brother and I, quickly learned the purpose of our visit was so my Granddaddy could get some twisted pleasure in putting two timid, smaller than average boys on the back of an angry, quarter ton man killing beast. Ok, the reality is, Granddaddy thought we would have a good time riding a horse but all he had access to was a donkey.
Now you’re wondering why, while describing the scene in the back yard, I would mention a single 2 x 4. As we entered the yard with the two old men, Granddaddy’s friend picked up the approximately 3 to 4 foot long board. He said that sometimes that donkey could get contrary, especially when someone tries to ride it. If that donkey decided to bite or buck and stomp us the old man was going to smack him between the eyes with the board. He said he was going to put us on the donkey’s bare back and the person in front was to hold tightly to the mane and the brother on back was to hold tightly to the brother in front. The old man would then lead the donkey around the yard by its harness.
As a young boy I was oblivious to any danger I may have been in. There was no thought of being bit or thrown. I didn’t think that I could have landed on a board or nail or hit my head on an engine block. All I knew is that I was about to ride a donkey! I trusted granddaddy implicitly. Never had I considered that he would put my brothers and me in a situation that might hurt us. If I hadn’t trusted him there are many unforgettable, life forming experiences I would have missed out on. God has adventures grander and more dangerous than anything Granddaddy could have ever dreamed up. I long to trust Him the way I trusted Granddaddy. I want to go where He leads, see what He has in store. I know I can trust Him; He’s got a bigger 2×4.