Our local mall, in an apparent attempt to drum up more business, installed a carousel. The rotating platform has mostly horses but a few other creatures too, even a dragon.
We decided to introduce this mammoth toy to our daughter when she was about four. After a quick drive to the mall, we parked on the upper level, took the escalator down, paid the dollar fee, and allowed her to choose which of the many animals she would ride—not an easy decision for a four-year-old. Besides the dragon and a bear, there was horse upon horse, all of them frozen in a state of furious galloping.
Eventually she made her selection. We strapped her in, and the horse began to move not only forward but up and down. Lights blazed, calliope music chimed. Round and round she went until at last the ride began to slow and ease to a stop.
Afterwards, we brought her back up the escalator and out to the car.
“Did you enjoy that?” I asked.
“Oh, yes!” she gushed. “That was the best ride ever! I love the escalator!“
Only a child would see it that way.
But it got me thinking.
We always (I hope!) appreciate what we consider the greater gifts God bestows on us, like a miraculous healing, a windfall of cash, the love of one’s life, a promotion at work.
But how often do we appreciate the more common things? Stuff like the warmth of the sun, the greenness of grass, the intricacy of a flower. They’re so common, so everyday, that we often don’t give them a second glance, much less a thought.
What if they were all taken away? What if your landscape were nothing but flat brown ground stretching to the horizon? What if the sky were a dull grey blocking most of the sunlight? What if there were no stars or moon bedecking the night?
How often do we thank God for the beauty in the world?
Oh, but there’s so much more. There’s another thing so commonplace we might easily take it for granted.
At Mass you can walk up to the altar and receive God Himself. That’s right: you can receive the very Maker of all the beauty in the world. And He’s burning with desire to make you more beautiful than all the stars and worlds in the universe. He’s burning with desire to bring you to paradise.
He is our very stairway to Heaven.
When is the last time we appreciated that Escalator?