Most kids play it when they’re five or six. At least that’s when I remember playing it. David Gines, friend and neighbor, and I used to argue amounts. He bragged his dad was older, I bragged my dad weighed more. Certainly things to crow about.
So don’t ask me why Calvin is still playing this game at 63, but some day during the last year when I said, “I love you,” he said, “I love you more.”
And even more perplexing than him saying it is that I took the bait.
I said, “No. No. I’m pretty sure you don’t.”
He replied, “Sure I do. It’s a known fact.”
I asked, “Well, how much do you love me then?”
And just like the childhood game, whatever it was he said, I upped it.
This went on for a several months, when finally Calvin pulled out the BIG number.
He said, “I love you more than the national debt.” Before I could argue that I truly loved him more than 17 trillion, he finished, “And we both know that number grows exponentially every day so you can't top it.”
He had me. He won.
A few days ago one of my students told a story of two brothers* who were the age that most people are when they one-up.
The older brother said, “I love you,” to his little 4 year old brother.
The little boy said, “I love you more.”
Game on. The challenge went back and forth it went.
“Nope. I love you more,” the older brother responded.
“I love you this much,” said the younger brother stretching his arms wide.
“Well, I love you this much,” said the older brother stretching his longer arms even wider.
“I love you as much as this room,” the little brother said.
“I love you as much as this house.”
“I love you as much as the whole wide world."
Then came the big one. The older brother was sure the younger brother hadn't even heard of it. He said, "I love you as much as the universe.”
But the little brother didn’t even blink, “Well, I love you as much as Jesus does.”
Trumped. The older brother knew it. Nothing is as deep or as wide or as constant. Nothing beats the Savior's love.
I’m ready. I’ve got a new answer for Calvin . . . and a goal for me to obtain it.