My kid has provided me with some of the most important learning moments I think I’ve ever experienced! Without fail, his little “gems” have sprung forth at the most unexpected times! Invariably though they have come at exactly the moment I needed them! Last evening I had one of those great moments and I thought I should share it!
I guess I’ll first start with a confession. My patience level lately has been on the deficient end of the scale. All too often I get fired up way too quickly over the slightest little infraction. Perhaps it’s frustration with work. Perhaps it’s frustration with certain things in my relationship. Whatever the reason, I’ve been getting fired up awfully quickly over stupid things. The problem, as I am seeing, is that kids mirror our behavior. So, I’ve been witnessing Paris getting fired up about stupid little things which of course fires me up until we’ve got a whole fire going…over stupid stuff. This has, as you might imagine, caused a little bit of soul-searching on my part, resulting in humbling myself a little bit and going to the little one and asking for forgiveness for attitudes and anger that shouldn’t be exhibiting in an 9 year old…much less a 38 year old.
After blowing up over a perceived attitude last night and storming off to my room, I felt really low. As I stretched out on the bed a nagging thought weasled its way into my subconscious –
Dang, if I’m feeling low, imagine how low I’ve left that 9 year old who I love more than life!
I shuffled out of my room and into his room.
I’m sorry! I’ve behaved badly! Can you please forgive me?
His response was perfect –
Of course! I love you!
My heart melted! He gave me a big hug (I think he broke a rib actually) and in that moment I realized that I’ve been too wrapped up in minutia to fully appreciate this amazing gift that God has entrusted me with. After being hit with that thought, I took the only real option available and sat down on the edge of his bed. Our conversation was surprising to me. My little boy sounded so grown up. He started asking questions about why I was getting so angry lately. He was concerned! I told him that I was just frustrated…but that I shouldn’t be taking it out on him. We agreed to work together instead of against each other. I felt relieved and a little embarrassed that a 9 year old would have such insight…insight I’ve been lacking.
Soon our conversation turned to his day. His friend had hit him at school and they had both been sent into the Principal’s office. He was scared he admitted to me. And so he had prayed! He had prayed fervently to God…and Santa! I caught my breath and smiled. It is the holiday season after all and Santa is still real to my little guy. I thought about telling him the difference between Santa and God, but then I stopped. He believed! He believed that his prayer made a difference. One day he’ll understand that Santa isn’t God! But for right now, I didn’t want to put a damper on his victory! Because he had witnessed a victory in Ms. Alverez’s office! His prayer had made a measurable difference to him!
Jesus said that we should never stop the little ones from coming to Him. I imagine he meant coming to Him with their problems and concerns. Jesus also said that what we’ve done to the “least” we’ve done to Him. I imagine that “least” includes the little ones in our care. God and Santa may be two different people in this grown up’s book…but in the book of an 9 year old, they took on the same personage and offered protection and comfort to a little boy that needed it.
As I left his room, I offered a prayer…asking Father God for forgiveness for being so quick to anger! I thanked Him that He’s always available…for the little ones and the big kids like me. I don’t always get it right! But I was reminded last night, by my 9 year old, that He’s always there waiting for me to touch bases with Him. Offering love, comfort, protection and forgiveness!
Truth is, Paris is probably more right than he knows; God is a bit like Santa! And like Santa, he’s got a big bag of gifts! One day Paris will know the difference between the two…but for now…I think I’ll let his imagination continue unchecked. As for me…I am reminded to take my frustrations to God because that’s the best place for them!
I Peter 5:7 instructs us to
cast all our cares upon him because he cares
The Message translation says
Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.
During this season, with all it’s beauty…and frustrations…I’m learning [again] that the mercies of God are new every day; and that he’s always ready to reach into the big Santa bag of his and offer the gifts of love, forgiveness, peace, joy and whatever else I’m in need of. And, he’s promised to do so without even checking to see whether I deserve them or not.