(*batteries not included)

Apart from being a delightful 80’s movie, this is an annual curse or challenge in our post-Christmas morning household.

Like many, I keep a fairly substantial stock of batteries on hand. They’re necessary to life as we know it. They keep flashlights powered and video game remotes video-gaming. Technology has advanced and there are no buttons on my television at all… so we can’t even turn it on or off without a remote.

The ceiling fan has a remote that needs a battery. We have battery-powered fake candles.

We need batteries. And so do toys.

Relatively unscathed, we survived Phase 1. Phase 1 is the gauntlet of opening all the toys this year. We survived the zipties and their “trimmed” knife edges, tightly tied twine, rubber bands you can barely grasp, “paper” cuts from flaps of sturdy cardboard and all the little pieces, corners and edges that magically find the space between your finger and your fingernail. It’s brutal. We managed to be one of the few families that stayed out of the ER from “packaging-related injuries.” Thanks be to God.

Then it came time to make it all work… Every one of those toy packages said somewhere “(*batteries not included.)”

Phase 2 means out with the screwdrivers and the batteries. No problem with C, though the stock is now on the low side. The 48-pack of AA from the “Wholesale” store served us well yet again. And then it came to AAA… Not so much. Apparently the battery manufacturers conspired with toy manufacturers in 2015 so that EVERYTHING could run on AAA. I had 22 before the operation began… I was four short. And of course, whatever doesn’t get the batteries is “the one I REALLY wanted to play with.”

We made do for a while. Just swap out batteries from this to that. It was a pain, but it worked out. We picked up another pack and battery-powered life is just fine now. I think I’d prefer to pay an extra couple of bucks for batteries to come with these toys, in case anybody who makes those kinds of decisions reads this…

Nothing comes with batteries… Pick a toy, it doesn’t matter which one. Not a single one of them comes with the power source that it needs to do what it is meant to do, what it is made to do. It could be designed ingeniously, like Emma’s BB-8 toy*. It could be built perfectly, like Andrew’s radio-controlled Turbo Twister Stunt Car*. It can be the functional and cool Star Wars walkie-talkies* or the reading lights* for books in the car.

(*batteries not included.)

Whatever it is, it only looks amazing until it has power. It seems great until those batteries are installed and only then will it work correctly.

There I* sat in my bathrobe on the floor with a screwdriver in hand and it slowly dawned on me that I’m not that different from these toys. Without the correct energy source, I’m* barely worth looking at. I* won’t accomplish what I’m* designed to. I* can’t be what I* can be. I* can’t do what I’m* capable of.

Because (*batteries are not included.)


My energy source isn’t automatic. I don’t generate it myself and I’m incapable of creating it. It’s divine. I have the capacity to hold it, but I must seek it and receive it to use it and when it runs out, I need more.  I constantly need more.

That reminds me… it’s time to restock.



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