Monday, January 17, 2011

Just One of Those Days

Well, it has been one of those mornings. The kids have decided their teacher is a cruel taskmaster doling out far too many assignments and not enough grace. And since yelling at the teacher is forbidden, yelling at each other will have to do. Lydia called Lauren a name that I can’t record here. Lauren screamed at Lydia for not doing something right, in all honesty I am not for sure what it is because my ears don’t register screams or whining. It’s a survival skill I picked up years ago and one that drives my girls insane.

I wish I could say that all the drama is pointless and squash it dead in its tracks, but since I haven’t figured out a way to stop it, I look for ways to redeem it. I have learned that when I look at my girls I can see myself, and each day they show me something new in them, I find that that same quality is within me. They just have the guts to let it out.

I realized this morning, as they yelled at each other from across the house, that I am like that. They really aren’t mad at each other, and would probably find a way to entertain themselves, if I had not dared to interfere in their lives. You see, they are really mad at me. Ultimately, at least in this small sphere, I set the terms, control the circumstance, and I have the authority to compel the other one into submission. And since life is being so devastatingly unfair and they cannot persuade me to make it otherwise, they have to spew at something and who better than a sibling?

I wonder if God ever has the urge to lock himself in the bedroom and sneak a cigarette when I behave this way? You know, the days when I could entertain myself just fine but he chooses to make other plans on my behalf, or more specifically, he has something to teach me. The days when I know he is just not being fair and I truly believe my life would be just great if he would make that other person behave.

Because I know that even though my children can throw a fit, my fits are far more dramatic and possess a distinctive flair that they have yet to develop. I have far more ammunition – I mean justification, for seeing myself as the victim. After all, I have been put upon, oppressed, mistreated, and abused. I have witnessed a world full of evil and I know that it is out to get me. I have to stand up for myself, demand that my rights be observed, and fight to make my voice heard. My hurts, my needs, my disappointments, and frustrations need to be vindicated. Evil must be punished, and I . . . uh, I mean, good must prevail.

Wow, that felt good. Too bad it’s all a load of garbage.

The hard truth is I have no rights. Not at the deepest level. No one owes me anything, least of all God. Every bit of goodness, peace, and joy I experience comes as a gracious gift from his love for me. I can’t earn a gift, and I can’t perform well enough to merit his love. It is something I accept with joy and hopefully, at least sometimes, with the proper humility. Any importance or significance I have is found in the fact that he created me in his image and he loves me.

But sometimes, I forget. I look around and the world is not as I would have it and I grow impatient. I see people screwing it up, making mistakes from ignorance or laziness. I can never do what I want to do when I want to do it because there is always someone there making demands, wanting my attention or my time. I get frustrated and I want to scream at them to all go away, leave me alone so that I can just love my God and put on my pretty Christian face. It’s their fault I get ugly. It’s their fault I lose my temper and have to yell, stomp my feet, and make a spectacle of myself.

But deep down in my heart, I know they aren’t the ones I am mad at. They are just people, in the same boat I am in. They don’t control their fate any more than I control mine. We all have to deal with the fact that other people have their own agendas, get in our way, and just generally annoy us. But we all know there is another one who is in control who can change the circumstance, fix the terms, and has the authority to compel everyone into submission. He’s the one I am really mad at, because after all he needs to make things work out for me. And though I may be yelling at the rest of the world, I am also yelling loud enough so I know he will hear.

Thankfully, I now know the other side of that equation. I know he doesn’t take away all the obstacles because he is teaching me something that I will one day appreciate. I know he lets the other person get in my way because he loves them as much as he loves me. He doesn’t always bust my butt when I deserve it, and his ears will hear me again when I can learn to stop screaming. And sometimes, us kids just need to work it out amongst ourselves. He loves me enough to do all this for us simply because we are his children.

1 comment:

Andrea.g.Williams said...

"I know he doesn’t take away all the obstacles because he is teaching me something that I will one day appreciate."
You said that right there! So true. I love this blog post.