One by one, I placed things in a garbage bag and other things on the floor. With no little eyes on me at the moment, I pretended that it was a dramatic swirl that would get their attention when the wreckage would appear before them. Surely this will send a message! Only, I’m a bit of a control freak and don’t want to come across as a complete lunatic. The creation of the scene was much less dramatic looking than the final result. *I like to think that I can’t be AS crazy as I felt, Jesus Himself flipped tables at the temples sending things all over the place after all…you know, the Son of God who could do no wrong?
Moments later, I left. I left them with a messier version of their mess. After days and a final warning to organize a trainwreck, they would be placed in a situation that would force them to clean the mess. In the moments to follow- there were texts and voicemails of why did you do that, and do you realize you wrinkled my paper? I did not answer. Then came the I’m sorry, I’ll listen, and I will do things as I should.
Much like how our guidance as parents turn into warnings, and ultimately storms that leave a bit of a mess…we experience the same thing from God.
We commence each day with the same exact guidelines from God. Ones that we’ve been taught over and over. Nothing is new. Nothing is a surprise. With each second, when lacking discipline…we slip away from the path. Much like some guidance our children have: be kind, be respectful, brush your teeth, make your bed, hang your coat up, put your shoes away, etc…the expectations are the same each and every day.
We force open closed doors by breaking them down. We turn on all of the lights instead of conserving, and drain ourselves by chasing things and people. We turn to everything in the world instead of turning to God. We pretend we know what’s best for us despite the warning signs. *Don’t play, you KNEW hanging out with kids that skipped school were going to bring you trouble, or that guy/girl was going to obliterate your heart! You saw the billboard warning signs, and thought you could rewrite the ending. While I believe it is all already written and God knew every single choice that we would make, we have to be accountable for our decisions. Which are usually preceded by a why God…how could You do this to me? Everything is done out of love, just as when we act as parents to get our children’s attention. Nothing is done out of cruelty. *My daughter who will lose all of her snap streaks this week may argue otherwise though! I imagine this may be a scarring moment in her life…one that I happily will take the hit for if it helps her remain on the right path. SLAPS “worst mom ever” post-it on forehead and wears it proudly.
We set rules as parents. What comes next varies, but I imagine we have some similarities. We remind. We sometimes ask. Then asking turns into demands. (Then attitudes fly, and the house implodes?) Then we discipline. Then we clean up together after the storm, always ending with love.
That IS our relationship with Father. I’d absolutely be lying if I said this was not my DAILY relationship with God. I read something in a book the other day that made me think of my own father. In the book, a woman’s father apologized to her because he thought he failed her in the way he raised her. OUCH! Despite my daily failings, my dad tells me so often how incredible he thinks I am. *He’s clearly choosing to look beyond my mess with some beer goggles, only he doesn’t drink…so I’m not sure how he sees what he sees? Now imagine God’s love! He loves us more infinitely MORE than we could ever imagine. Sure, He disciplines us after we try to avoid doing our chores or sneak a cookie when we were told not to have one…but it’s all out of love. He knows and wants what’s best for us. We just need to listen. God can’t fail us. God will wreck us before we wreck ourselves beyond repair. When we get to a point in our lives when we ask why me- it’s a good time to take a look around and see how far off God’s path we are and to make sure we run back to make our beds and hang our coats up.