I was watching TV with my grandson this weekend, and suddenly there appeared a blast from my past - I hadn't thought about this little fellow for YEARS. I said, "Oh NO!! That can't be MR. POTATO HEAD, can it??!!!!"
Well, I took a good look at Mr. Potato Head's plastic body and decided that, yes indeed, he was the same little guy as all of the many Mr. Potato Heads I had bought for my kids when they were little. Then I decided I would do what any good grandparent would do … I said that infamous line: "when I was little" (I know, I know … tacky …). But I continued on….
"When I was little, Mr. Potato Head came in a little box with eyes, ears, noses, mouths and little feet that you would take and stick into a REAL potato. I used to hunt through the bag of potatoes in the kitchen to find PERFECT one to make my silly little creature." Jalen looked shocked. "You mean you had to use REAL potatoes? WHY??" "YEP. Back in the DAY, you didn't get a plastic potato, you had to use a real one from the kitchen."
Apparently the very idea of sticking those body parts into a real potato was too much for him to comprehend. "That's CRAZY!" "Why wouldn't they give you a plastic potato?" "You mean your mother let you ruin a potato?!" "WOW, Mom-mom, you must be really OLD…" (okay, enough is enough….)
In other words, he had no reference point to begin to even IMAGINE a Mr. Potato Head without the accompanying plastic potato.
So then we got into a discussion about the way things CHANGE in life. I mentioned that there used to be an amusement park in Springfield that my parents would often take me to when I was little ("Yep! It was right across the street from where the Chic-Fil-A is now. It was called Playtown Park."), and I mentioned that there was also a fast-food hamburger stand that sold hamburgers for 15 cents. Of course, I also mentioned that there was no Walt Disney World and to Skyzone back in those days. And no iPhones for him to Facetime his friends.
I guess the conclusion of the conversation came when we both decided that "change" is a normal and necessary fact of life. Sometimes we don't like it, but sometimes we do. The secret is to learn to embrace change and even to welcome it (even in the church!), because that's the way God has created the world.