Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lessons in Listening From My 9 Year Old

I have often said that I believe God uses the example of our children to teach us about our relationship with him.

Here is my latest lesson:

When we were camping this last weekend, my kids were riding their bikes with the other kids. The "moms" were walking behind and a bit of distance got between us. When we rounded the loop we suddenly saw that the kids had abandoned their bikes in the middle of the road and took off through the trees to the lake... 

Let me just say this was NOT COOL with me. 

When I had found my kids (and scolded them a bit) I sent them back up the loop to retrieve their bikes. This was not a very far distance and there were very few people.  I watched my 9 year old and my 6 year old walk back up toward the loop and completely miss the turn they needed to take. I began calling to them to stop, but the louder I called the faster they ran the other direction.  I couldn't reach them quickly enough before they disappeared down the loop going the very LONG way around. 

When I found them again I  asked my oldest, "Didn't you hear me calling to you?" 
he answered "Yes, I heard you." 
I said "Well, why didn't you stop then?" 
9 year old says "Because I knew what you were going to say." 

(stop for dramatic pause while mom internally blows up)

Believe me, the words that came out of my mouth next began something like "Well, do you know what I'm going to say now???" and he got the lecture you can probably imagine. To think that he clearly heard me, but chose to ignore my calling to him to stop.  How could he do that to me? Why didn't he listen to me? His mother and clear authority?

Then the Holy Spirit started talking to me. 
He said, "How many times Kari, Have I been calling to you to stop and you just kept right on running away because you thought you knew what I was going to say?" 
....."Many times Lord"
.... "And how many times have I asked you to do something for me, but you took off in your own direction instead?"
.... "Too many times Lord"
.... "And how many times have I forgiven you, restored you, and brought you back to wholeness?"
... "More times than I can count Lord."
When was the last time you felt the Lord tell you to talk to someone about Jesus, but you hesitated out of fear, and then ran away? When was the last time you knew what the Holy Spirit was convicting you of something, but you chose to ignore it? 

This is a hard lesson for me, but just like my boys, when we don't listen to the calling of God we just are running the long way around the loop. Eventually he will bring us back to face what we are running from. Let's stop running, and start listening and obeying what God is clearly showing us to do.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful analogy. So many of use won't slow down for God, much less stop. Thank you for the reminder.