Chasing the Ice Cream Truck

Summer is in full swing in our little valley home. The children have abandoned a reasonable night time schedule; the temperatures have been sizzling in the 90s; the fireflies are out in all of their glory.

But something even more telling has hurdled us headlong into fun in the sun: the arrival of the dreaded ice cream truck.

This predatory creature always seems to know just when dinner time is. It summons children like the pied piper. Doors are recklessly flung ajar as soda pop music is piped into the air, cajoling them into a trancelike state. The children with less astute hearing are soon enlightened by their friends, and it doesn’t take long for the streets to come alive with young voices.

Last night as I sat on the front porch with my eight-year-old, he began to plead his case for a tasty frozen treat. I reminded him that we have a whole box of perfectly good popsicles in our freezer. They’re just not packaged as nicely. They’re not wrapped up in his favorite cartoon character, and they certainly don’t come with a song.

As I lectured, my ears pricked up. What was that? It sounded like the carousal music from a fair long past. My heart skipped a beat. I wanted to run down the street in pursuit of that joy on wheels. Instead, I gave my boy five dollars and contented myself to live through him in the next moments.

As I watched the doors flapping and the legs flying, I was caught up in the excitement of it all. In the midst of the fun, a thought occurred to me: Maybe we sometimes don’t put Jesus in the right packaging. We wrap Him up in Sunday mornings and hymns that are hundreds of years old; in pious looks and judgmental glares; or legalism and rituals that mean nothing to those who have never been to church.

Where is the fun in that?

We should be living, breathing ice cream trucks for Jesus, but instead, we’re more like the mail truck. We deliver the message with little excitement. No song. No treat. Just a plain old box.

Anyone who really knows Jesus knows the joy there is in knowing Him. Yet, we greedily hoard away this delight, concealing it from the very ones who need to see. Philippians 4:4-5 tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

Evident to all. Not just to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our entire lives should reflect the joy of the Lord. As we run after him, we should be enlightening our friends, calling joyfully to them to follow. When they see our happiness, they will surely check this thing out. When they hear the music of our hearts, their hearts will begin to beat in time.

Oh, if only it were so simple! But remaining joyful from day to day is no easy task. Even my eight-year-old would grow bored with the ice cream truck if it came every day. We get caught up and bogged down. We grow tired. We get discouraged.

But the great thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t come around only when it’s convenient. He doesn’t just go down the streets with the most customers. He’s everywhere. He will encourage us. He is every flavor. He is the song. He is the joy.

So, go ahead. Chase the truck. Rejoice in the Lord. Let your gentleness be evident to all.

This is a repost from a couple of years ago. My little one, of course, is now ten…but he still chases the ice cream truck.

And I do too.

Comments

  1. says

    Love how you have the gift to relate an ice cream truck to a vital relationship with our Lord. glad you re-posted…this did my heart good today.

    Wow—fireflies!! Haven’t seem them in YEARS. I did spot a few in Jamaica this past March but miss the days of them alerting us to the beginning of nightfall.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. says

    I loved this post. I especially loved this part:

    “We should be living, breathing ice cream trucks for Jesus, but instead, we’re more like the mail truck.”

    Yes!! We should be ice-cream trucks for Jesus:) I’m certainly going to try to be more of an ice-cream truck:)

  3. says

    Good word Laura! 🙂

    Just recently, I watched to neighborhood girls chasing the Ice Cream truck for nearly two blocks before he stopped and they got their treats….

    If only we would pursue Jesus with such passion…

  4. says

    AMEN….I am dancing and chasing Ice Cream trucks for the LORD right there with ya…no mail trucks for this old lady. Life is too short to be stuffy. GOD is triumphant and loves a happy heart.
    I needed this post…thank you, andrea

  5. says

    Now that was something; brought back so many memories of younger days when hearts were free to express the sheer delight of a moment!

    We chased the icecream truck this morning in worship. My son took us there and reminded us all of the joy there is in pursuing the Lover of our souls. I hope to have a snippet of it to share with blogging friends later on.

    Yes, my friend, she’s home, and joy comes in the morning. It was good to hug her family this morning at church.

    peace~elaine

  6. says

    Memories of the snowcone truck come rolling back and with them the familiar tingling longing. Reading an excellent book by the Dalai Lama now on Jesus: The Good Heart. Seeing the Beautiful One in a new, fresh wrapper that gives me that same sense you described here. Implacable desire….

  7. says

    you’re a good mom, finding the joy

    I ordered the book you wrote today, and am so looking forward to reading a whole handheld treasure of your words.

  8. says

    I love this post. I haven’t even seen an ice cream truck in forever, but still remember the music so well.

    I remember it being so much fun when we’d hear it and we’d run in to get money, hoping we wouldn’t miss him.

    I love everything you said regarding our zeal for Jesus.
    I want everyone to see Him in me and see the real reason for my joy.

    Thanks for this refreshing post.

    Love you,
    Valerie

  9. says

    Hey, dear friend. Great picture as usual… I remember John Eldredge quoting the verse, “Be ready to give an answer for the hope within you.” He then said, “when was the last time someone stopped you in the grocery store or some other place and said, “tell me about the hope within you?” It just doesn’t happen unfortunately for many of us do not live as if there is a hope within us.

    Loved this great post!

  10. says

    Hey I was just lamenting to my hubs the other day that no ice cream trucks live here. He just laughed and said with four kids, we’d be broke and they’d be heartbroken!

    But, I think I’d slip ’em a twenty for old time’s sake myself. 😉

    You created a picture perfect scene from my childhood. May it teach me something as an adult. thanks! lisa

  11. says

    We make propriety the essence of our relationship with God. We allow the order of things to define the reverence and fear we have for God. But a God who allowed us to call Him “Abba” instead loves our joy…and consequently I love to be around those who enjoy Him and each other.

  12. says

    Oh the memories!

    Your application makes me long to be that icecream truck. Praying other’s will desire to taste and see that the Lord is good because the song of my life makes Him inviting.

    Icecream is my most favourite treat!
    Joy

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