I have some attitude problems as a seven-year-old don’t I Lord?
“Yes you do.”
“I hope you can weed it all out of me Jesus.
He smiled, “oh, I can!”
The five Town boys, The Little Boy and The Little Girl all went to sit under the tree to have their lunch. One of the Town boys spoke up and said, “we need to have a name for ourselves since we’re like a club.” They all said, “yeah we do.”
So they started thinking up names to call themselves. The Little Girl said “how about the Cork Kids?”
Everyone said, “yeah”! They all liked it. They said “we need a leader. Somebody who’s gonna do the talking if some adult comes up.”
They looked at each other, The Little Girl said, “I think The Little Boy should be, since he’s the one that knew The Stranger first.”
Everyone agreed. They said to him “okay you are the Cork Kid leader! The leader has to have an important leader name, so we’re gonna call you ‘CK’ okay”? He was beaming, he got picked for something really important. He said, “sure”!
CK said to the others, “since we’re out of school early, why don’t we go get that cork up off the road? We’ve got a lot of time now to do it.
We all found out how easy it is to pick up the cork when we tried it the other day. The only problem is that all the adults are in town. There was that farmers market and everything and everybody’s in town now. But let’s try anyway.”
One of the boys said, maybe we could make something happen somewhere else so they wouldn’t see us. They’d go over to the other side of town maybe and see what’s going on over there.”
The Little Boy said, “but what could we do? We can’t be bad, or our hearts will turn dark.”
One of The Town Boys said “I will go ask The Stranger if he will help.”
CK said, “that’s a great idea!”
So the town boy went over to the school, and The Stranger was just coming down the steps.
“Stranger?” asked the town boy, “we need somebody to get all the townspeople over to a different part of town so we can get the cork off the rest of the roads and in town. Can you help?”
The Stranger put his hand on his chin, thinking. He said, “yes I believe I can.”
“Thank you!” Yelled The Town boy as he ran off to the other kids.
The Stranger went over to his car and drove over to the far side of town.
It was where there was no cork, it was grassy and pretty, with round table’s all over it with white tablecloths, lacy canopy’s, and flowers. It looked like a wedding was going to be there.
Then The Stranger walked into town and started stopping people and asking them if they would come over to a luncheon he had prepared for them outside the town on the grassy area.
Everybody told their neighbor and they all went over to the grassy area and sat down at the tables. There was nobody left in town.
The Cork Kids saw the last person leave, then they got in pairs and started taking up the rest of the cork in town.
While they were pulling up the cork, all the rest of the kids from the classroom saw them doing it and they came over and asked what they were doing. So they told them they were pulling up all the cork in the town so it would make the town people healthier and happier.
The Town Boys were explaining how their legs got stronger and they felt better. They wanted to share that with the rest of the townspeople. But it wouldn’t happen if the cork was on the road. Because the cork made everything so soft that the people didn’t get any exercise and they didn’t learn anything, ’cause they just kept doing the same things over and over again.
They all asked if they could help. The Cork Kids said “yes! That would be great!” So there were 20 kids taking up all the cork. They put it in big black trash bags and set it off to the side. With so many hands helping, it was all done in 2 hours. The kids were sweaty and dirty. A couple their hands on their hips and looked around. “Look at that!” they said proudly.
One of the Town Boys said “that sure is rocky!”
“It sure is!” CK said and laughed.
“Come on! We have to get these bags of cork in the dumpsters.” It took three kids to lift the bags and get them up into the dumpsters. They had 30 bags of cork.
The little girl said “I’m so thirsty.”
One of the Town boys reached in his lunch box and gave her his carton of milk. He said, “here, I didn’t drink this and it’s still cool.” She took it and said “thank you!” And drank it down.
They all picked up their school books and their lunch bags, and they headed for home.
The Little Boy and The Little Girl walked down the Rocky Road to their houses. In the distance they could hear the Town Boys explaining to the rest of their classmates how to walk on the road.
“Oh! I get it about seeing!”
“Good babygirl! I knew you would.”
“How did you know I would Jesus?”
“Because you’re a very smart girl,” Jesus says.
“Oh yes honey! One of the absolutely great things about you, is you are very smart. Very smart. I have given you a lot of gifts Janine.”
“There you go again Daddy, calling me Janine.”
“I know honey, but you know why, remember? When I call you Janine, I’m talking to both of you. Janine and Nini.”
“Yes Daddy, I’m sorry.”
“Sweetheart there’s nothing to be sorry about. Everything is a learning adventure.”
“Learning is an adventure God?”
“Yes babygirl. It’s all on how you think about things. It’s where you put your mind. I think I told you to get that song out, didn’t I? The song that Janine wrote? Get those words out Nini and put them in here. It matters what you think.”
“Daddy, she called it something else.”
“That’s ok sweetheart.”
What do you do when you’re lonely
Where do you let your mind go?
What do you do when you feel low
Wondering where you should go?
Movies are safe for a short while
Walking the dog plays a part
Out with the old, in with the new
What do you do with your heart?
It matters, oh yes it matters
Where you let your mind go
If you look out instead of in
You’ll find that there is hope
It matters oh yes it matters
What you say in your head
The words you think become what you speak
Speak life to yourself instead
It matters, oh yes it matters
Where you let your mind go
If you look out instead of in
You’ll find that there is hope.
“Yes Daddy. You want me to do it right now? No honey you can do it later. When you type this out, or when Janine types it out, she can put them in then. I want to tell you what discernment is.”
“Ok. Is it going to take a long time?”
“No baby it won’t.
So remember, I was telling you, I was reminding you, that you know when it’s the devil talking and when it’s me?
“Yes. And I asked you if I would always know.”
“Yes you did ask me that. And I said you will need to use discernment. So let me tell you what discernment is.
Discernment is when you hear something or you see something, and something inside of you knows it’s not quite right. Some people call it intuition, some people call it a gut feeling. It’s all discernment. When you walk with me like Janine does, you will have a greater ability to discern things. You will have a greater ability to tell if it’s my voice or the devil’s voice. Or if somebody’s a bad person, you will just have a feeling. Sometimes the hair on the back of your neck will stand up “you” being anybody.”
“Not me exactly, huh Jesus?”
“You’re right babygirl, see? I told you you were smart. A lot of children would not have gotten that.
Some people have the hair stand up on their arms and so they know that something is wrong. That’s called discernment.”
“That’s it Jesus?”
“Pretty much honey. There’s more, but that’s enough for you to know right now as a little girl. Okay?”
“Okay Jesus! Are we going to do the Cork Road tonight?”
“Do you want to Janine?”
“Yes Daddy I do. You told me to do it every day and I want to be obedient.”
“Well honey, just talking to me like this, is sufficient. It’s whatever you want sweetheart. I have all the time in the world to spend with you. Also if you don’t want to do the story and you just want to sit here side-by-side that’s fine too.”
“I’d like that Jesus. Can I sit on your lap?”
“Of course babygirl, of course!”
“Will you brush my hair?”
“Yes baby, I will.
“Jesus, is seeing in the spirit world using my imagination?”
“No honey it’s not.”
“Then how do I do it?”
“I’ll teach you later Janine.”
“Ok. I like doing the Cork road with you Lord, because it feels like we’re sitting together.”
“I know it does baby, because we are. You’re normally in my lap, like now.”
The townspeople started coming back into town. A lot of them fell down and cut their knees and their hands on the rocks. The children were all at the far end of the road in the middle of the town.
They turned around and looked because they heard a bunch of adults cussing. They looked at each other with wide eyes, figuring they were going to get in bad trouble. One of the adults took a deep breath and started screaming at the boys, but another adult stopped that person.
They said, “We all know what happened and we all know our children did this to help us. So the best we can do is to learn how to walk on this road and to be better custodians of each other and our children and our town. So let’s not scream at the kids for trying to help us okay?”
All the adults within earshot said ok.
The adult continued, and said, “this is important for us. We need to grow as a town. It would be nice for more families to move here and it would be nice for us to learn how to get along with each other. I know things are going to be difficult. These rocks are hurting my feet too. But in time, like with the children, our feet and ankles and legs will be stronger, our backs will be stronger from walking like this. We will be better. We just have to learn how to walk this walk.”
Some of the adults were grumbling, but they all knew that person was right.
Since it was time to get dinner and close up shop, that’s what all the adults did and got ready to go home. The rest of the adults were already at their homes. All the kids from class got their books and their coats, waved goodbye to each other saying, “we’ll see you tomorrow!” and went home.
When The Little Boy and The Little Girl got to The Little Girl’s house, her mom was there and said “we’ve been invited down to The Little Boy’s house for supper! Let’s all go.”
So her mom held their hands, The Little Boy on her left and The Little Girl on her right. They walked down the rocky road to The Little Boy’s house.
They went up the steps and in the house. The Little Boy saw The Stranger sitting at the kitchen table with his Mama and Daddy and The Little Girl’s Dad. They all looked up when they came in. “Hi kids! We saw what you did in the town! We also went to a luncheon provided by The Stranger, where he told the whole town what was going on. You kids had a really rough afternoon didn’t you?”
“Yes!” they both said in unison.
“Okay I want both of you to go upstairs and wash up.
When you’re done don’t stay up there and play, I want you to come right down.”
“Yes ma’am” they both said.
So both of them washed their hands and faces, got all the dirt and sweat off. The little girl said “I am so tired.” The Little Boy said “so am I. Hopefully the adults won’t talk too long & we’ll be able to go to bed early.” She nodded.
They went back downstairs, where both of their mothers were getting the food on the table and the men were in the living room talking. The Little Boy said, “Mama? Is there anything you want us to do?”
She said “No honey, why don’t you two just go in to your Daddies.”
So the children went into the living room and they grabbed a pillow off the sofa and sat on the floor listening to the adults talk.