Friday, 20 February 2009

Lessons in Eternity... From a Toddler

For those who can't keep up, Little One is our youngest- she is about 20 months right now. Apple is our second-born- she is 6. The other day, I was upstairs sorting laundry, and Apple and Little One were downstairs in our dining room. The spot where I was sitting provided me full access to hear everything going on with them. Apple was working on her Valentines for her class, and Little One kept trying to climb up onto the table and get to them. Now Apple is a GREAT big sister- she loves Little One, loves to play with her and help out with her, but she was getting frustrated and annoyed. After listening for a little bit, I finally called down, "Apple, she just wants the suckers you are attaching. Give her one of your extras and she'll leave you alone." Apple replied, "Mom, I don't have any extras- I gave them all to C-Ray." Pleased with her reason for not having any extras, I said, "You can give her one of Faithie's - her box is in the kitchen."

My intent was for Apple to either give Little One one of her own, then go get one of Faithie's to replace it, or to go by herself into the kitchen and get one, and bring it to Little One. But, in typical 6 year old fashion, Apple had her own plan. I begin to hear her say, "Come on, Little One. Let's go in the kitchen and get you a sucker! ...Come on!... Let's go!... We'll get you one from the kitchen... Little One... Mom, she's not coming!" Chuckling, I thought to myself, "Yeah, good luck with that, Apple- getting a toddler to leave the candy she can see to follow you for something she can't see." Suddenly, the gravity of that thought hit me.

That is exactly what we are called to do as Christians- forsake the tangible rewards and desires of this world, to follow something completely intangible- a God whom we have never seen with our eyes, based on a promise of things to come in heaven, and a faith that we truly will find fulfillment in this life by doing it His way. And, like my irrational toddler, how stubborn we are in our view of the tangible objects of our affection. We refuse to listen to the promises of God through Scripture and the wise counsel and instruction of those who know more than we do, which would actually help us attain the things that will satisfy our souls. Instead, we staunchly hold fast to our desire for worldly things we can't attain, and that wouldn't truly satisfy us even if we did.

As I sat upstairs listening, I kept thinking how foolish my Little One was being- to stay focused on something that she was never going to get, when Apple was promising her exactly what she wanted, she simply had to trust and follow to receive it. How must God view us- with our foolish stubborness leading us to frustration and emptiness, when all we have to do is simply trust and follow Him?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot