Wednesday, March 2, 2011

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”  ~I Sam 15:22

It’s been an ugly day.  I feel like I”m fighting some sort of bug; as a result my patience and tolerance are nearly zero.  The little guys knew that when we started this morning, but it feels like they pulled out all the stops today…whining, arguing, fighting, refusing to cooperate (with me or with one another).  By noon I was ready to chuck it all and start over tomorrow.

After lunch, they decided to play some games.  Monsteropolis Life captured their attention first.  And you know what?  With very little help from me, they played a full game.  Nicely.  Pleasantly.  Together!  And they had fun.  They realized that they don’t need me to participate in everything they do.  Once they moved on to cribbage (yes, Ryan plays well.  Logan?  Not so much) it all hit the fan.  Logan got frustrated, and started acting up, grabbing the board and stealing the pegs.  Ryan started whining. Things started flying (a HUGE no-no here) so they were sent to opposite corners.  I needed to deal with each of them individually.  Ryan went without complaining but with huge tears.  Logan pitched a massive fit, screaming and stomping his fit and yelling “NO!  You can’t MAKE me!”   Oops.  Wrong thing to say.

Logan ended up in his room.  On his bed.  Screaming at me and hating the world.  The scene wasn’t pretty, but once he settled down, the talk and snuggle were pretty sweet.  The relationship is restored, and he’s back to his delightful little self again.  And me?  I’m wondering why it is that their disobedience and subsequent restoration provides such profound insights into my relationship with God.  As Logan and I talked about obedience and control (who’s in charge here?), what happens when we disobey Mommy, and how God tells us that we have to obey our parents, the conviction started.  Yuck. 

Parts of Psalm 51 capture pretty well my heart today:

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…You do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it.  You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”  ~Psalm 51:10-12, 16, 17

Will I ever learn that it’s my heart God wants?   Just like I want my children to obey me because I have their best interest at heart and I’m older and wiser than they, so God also, like a loving parent, wants my obedience.   And just like my children, when I give up the control I so desperately want (but am so not qualified to take!), then there is peace in my soul. 

A pure heart, a steadfast and willing spirit…those are the things God wants from me.  It’s really fairly simple…so why is it so dog-gone hard??

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