Little Girls & Cranes

“Daddy, can I play the crane?” Ellie Grace asked.

I’ve got this.

I’m at the mall with my three girls, so I’m already on my A game. She doesn’t stand a chance since I know what to say.

“Go and ask Mom.”

That’s a guaranteed negative, and I don’t have to be the bad guy. It isn’t that Lacey is a buzzkill, but that she’s a legend at the crane and my wife can tell you they don’t make cranes like they used to.

But my ten-year-old came running out of Ulta with a smile.

“She said I could if it was alright with you and if I spend my money!”

Lacey let me down due to being distracted by makeup. We discussed it back and forth. I asked to see the dollar and put in my pocket. When she frowned, I told her at least the dollar was in my pocket and not wasted. We discussed how the crane was set up so that she couldn’t win. Instead of winning the argument, I caved.

I looked at her little sister and asked, “Do you want to play?”

She said, “No, I’m not going to waste my money!”

Great! I have one kid with some money sense at least.

I watched as she played and lost. She didn’t even come close to winning a Starbucks cup with a gift card inside. After watching her older sister lose, Chloe couldn’t resist. She had to try too.

They both lost.

None of the attempted grabs succeeded to move a cup the slightest millimeter.

But then instead of regret for burning two dollars, they came back and begged to play some more. They were certain they could win. The crane failed to grab a prize but succeeded in grabbing them. They were hooked by the blinking lights, control over moving a robotic arm, and an opportunity to win.

It’s the same way with sin.

You have a Father who warns you to stay away. It cost something to play. The cost is seemingly insignificant. You feel like you have a chance to win. After all, sin promises that every cup is a winner. You think you will be different from everyone else. But, before you can stop, you’re hooked.

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