I'm not who I was.
*bringing this one out of the recesses for the Kingdom Woman blog hop on the subject of Surrender vs. Control 🙂 *
Our 2-year-old is in that wonderful “I do it” phase. You know, the one where you turn off a light and he says “No, I do it” and goes and turns it back on just so he can turn it off again himself. That phase. It has its advantages… I’m glad he does a whole lot of things for himself. Although I could do without the contrariness that goes along with it. In the end, it all boils down to control.
The most interesting scenarios have been happening in the car lately. Apparently, we have a back-seat driver on our hands…
On Sunday, I picked Cheeks up from nursery. As usual he cheerfully bee-lined down the long hallway toward the sanctuary to go see daddy. Per the norm I had to
yell at remind my kids to quit jumping off of the stage steps. Being Palm Sunday, I also had to remind them that the palm fronds were not for gleefully beating each other in the face with. (Sheesh, someone should get those PK’s under control!)
As we were walking out to the
mini-van swagger wagon, J asked where we were eating for lunch. I’m pretty sure she replied with a disappointed “Aww, man” when I broke the horrific news that we would be eating at home.*gasp* But to my delight, Cheeks was a bit more enthused. “Eat home. I ike it!” Over and over again he was enthusiastically declaring our upcoming plans, clapping his hands. “Dwive home. Eat. I ike it”, and other variations of pretty much the same thing. He was pleased as punch and in an adorably giddy mood. At least he was, until we crossed the rail-road tracks. Suddenly from the back seat I was bombarded with unwelcome screams. “NOOOO! I oh ike it! The AH-way! Dwive the AH-WAAAAAY!” All. the way. home. “Home. Eat. AAHHHH WAAYYYY!”
In case you haven’t yet decoded the toddler speak,”ah-way” means “OTHER way”. Cheeks has taken to deciding which direction he prefers for me to drive in. (I’m not for certain, but my theory is that his general preference is parallel with the rail-road tracks so that he can look at the trains.) He hadn’t changed his mind about his destination. He still genuinely wanted to go home and eat. But he wanted to go HIS way.
The problem with that is that not all roads lead to home.
Had we just gone the seemingly harmless route of “what makes him happy”, the experience may have been temporarily pleasing to his senses and his desire to be his own boss. But that bumpy journey would have ultimately resulted in our coming to a halt quite far from our intended destination, bored with the pleasing scenery that once enchanted us, out of gas and no longer in control. Not to mention HUNGRY.
Fortunately for him (and the rest of those present in the vehicle), my son has loving parents who certainly care about his feelings, but who also understand that feelings can be deceptive. They are not our god, and we don’t bow to them.
Unfortunately, at the ripe old age of two-and-a-half, Cheeks doesn’t quite grasp the concept or consequence of cause and effect. He doesn’t always understand that, if I’m ultimately in control of his situation, that I’m not simply being a kill-joy tyrant and that I am loving and protecting and providing for him amidst his moments of disappointment, distress, and anger. He doesn’t understand that sometimes, his way simply won’t work.
Then it hit me. I’ve been a believer for approximately 87% of my life. (I know because I looked it up on a percentage calculator. Thank you, technology.) I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is sovereign, that he loves me, and that he is good. I believe that his way is the best way. But how often do I find myself amidst my difficult (or sometimes even nothing more than less-than preferable) situations, kicking and screaming like a spiritual toddler, “I don’t like it! Go the OTHER WAAAAY”? Sometimes I just have to trust that if it doesn’t make sense, it’s not because God is cruel, uncaring, or “less good” than I had thought. It’s because I haven’t yet acquired the spiritual maturity or understanding to “get it”.
I’m glad God’s “got it” and that he protects me from even myself.