She came to me, blue eyes full of tears, the handmade card clutched in her hand.
She wanted me to reassure her that despite the crooked cutting and haphazard placement of artsy elements that it was still accepted…still deemed good.
In one of those seemingly rare insightful moments I knew what she was really asking. So I was truthful with her. I told her it was fine and she could give it to someone but…
No, it wasn’t as nice as her sister’s.
Now before you think me a horrible mother let me share a couple of things.
First, if she was four or five years old her creative piece would have been praised and thoroughly accepted. But she’s eight going on nine and her skills are above what she was holding out to me. I know it and she knows it.
Second, the real issue was bigger…something more was going on in her little heart and mind.
She wanted to compare her creation with her big sister’s creation and she wanted the same final result but she wanted it on her terms. She didn’t want to take the time to do it the right way but she wanted the same acceptance.
The bigger issue was that she knew they weren’t equal but she wanted to insist that they were. She wanted to force her way to yield the same results. But they never would because her way was quick and easy and didn’t require the same work, patience, and attention that her sister’s way required.
So we talked about how we need to be willing to listen to instruction from someone wiser than us. To hear what someone has to say that has more experience obtaining the end result we want. To be patient and willing to put in the often times hard work required to yield a fruit that doesn’t exalt just us but brings honor and glory to God.
In the grand scheme of things this is a simple lesson. But it is one with profound application that she will use the rest of her life.
We relentlessly pursue relationships and happiness on our terms no matter the cost to ourselves or those around us, no matter the lack of success in the past using the same tactics, acting like the child demanding that the end result be deemed good just because we say so.
But God doesn’t do things our way. He says that the way to find life is to lay it down. The way to find love and happiness for ourselves is going to be found when we stop focusing on ourselves and choose instead to love others more than ourselves.
We are called to live life differently as those who belong to Christ. We are a peculiar people called to a peculiar way of being. May we take note of how we live our lives…how we be who we are…to ensure that we are indeed, peculiar to those around us who do not yet know of our King.
Linking up at Titus 2 Tuesday.