When I Was A Child…..


Steve Nauman

Do you remember some of those carefree days of childhood, when with a spirit of adventure and a lack of reasoning there wasn’t a thing you couldn’t accomplish…..in a day?

I have a good friend who lived in Colorado for a couple of years when he was a boy. He said that everyday when he and his younger brother would wake up in the morning and look out the window, they could see Pikes Peak! As the weeks and months went on, they became more and more intrigued with that gigantic mountain off in the distance….. In fact, Pikes Peak – and climbing it, started entering their daily thoughts!
They finally decided early one morning to pack a lunch and ride their bikes to Pikes Peak…..and climb it! After all, they can see it as plain as day, it can’t be that far!

Well, they started on their journey – to ride to Pikes Peak, climb it and be back home by dark! They pedaled those bikes as fast as they could ….. 3 hours ….. 4 hours ….. By now they’re both getting tired and hungry so they stop and eat their lunches. As they’re resting and eating they realize that the mountain doesn’t look any closer than when they started out in the morning! Defeated, they turn the bikes around and though they were exhausted, they were glad to make it home in time for supper ….. and they went to sleep – most likely, dreaming about what their next adventure would be!

”When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT

When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I had a friend who helped me with what we thought would be an incredible adventure. We decided to build a raft and float it down the river – just like “Tom and Huck “! (I should probably point out here that the Otselic river that we were going to float down, was just a stream and had places that were less than 10 inches deep!)  Probably the only smart portion of our plan was to “build” the raft next to the river – that way we didn’t have to haul it there!

So we carried a bunch of old boards to the river and made a ‘platform‘. We needed something to make it float ….. and we found something! Behind my friends garage, there were lots of empty 2 gallon rectangle oil cans stacked all over the place! They would be easy to work with – so we carried about 20 of them to the river. We attached all the cans to the raft with twine and our “raft” looked like it was ready for it’s maiden voyage! 

We didn’t know how far down the river we would go – on our first trip, so we each packed a lunch just in case we went a long way. We had broomsticks to ‘push’ the raft with and to help navigate (just like “Tom and Huck”)!

We put the raft in and started down the river ….. we were floating down the mighty Otselic ….. pushing and “steering“ with our broomsticks! We probably went about 150 feet and the water suddenly became really shallow ….. An awful scraping sound came from the bottom as the cans started “popping“ out from underneath the raft ….. our incredible ride had come to an end.

I think we caught all the oil cans and carried them back where we found them. And we always saved and reused the boards for another project, because ….. we always figured….. that next adventure would be even better!

It’s fun to reflect on how a 10 or 12 year old might think about challenges or ways to overcome them. But according to some verses in the book of Isaiah, the ways and thoughts of the Lord are still far beyond even what we could imagine…..

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”            
Isaiah 55: 8-9 NLT

 Till Next Time…..

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Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.