Our children either make us old or they keep us young. I guess it depends on whether you are pessimistic or optimistic. It is kinda like the whole, “is the glass half-full or half-empty” thing. I remember someone asking my Grandpa from Oklahoma about the glass and in his typical OK cowboy simplicity he responded, “Well, it depends.” “What do you mean by ‘it depends’ grandpa?” “Well, are you filling the glass or drinking it? If you are filling it up then it is half full, if you are drinking it then it is half empty.” That makes sense but it misses the point of the question for us overly complicated thinkers. So are your kids keeping you young or are they making you old? I guess grandpa wasn’t too far off because it depends or whether you are raising them to be self-sufficient, thinking adults; or are you forcing them to be little carbon copies of yourself and get frustrated when they step one step outside of what you want for their life?
Anyway, that isn’t what I wanted to talk about at all. I just somehow got off on a rabbit trail that almost doesn’t connect at all to the main trail. No matter how you look at your kids one thing is for sure, they’ve changed your life in ways that will never be the same. One way they do this is they teach us stuff all the time. “Wait, that sounds backwards. I thought we were supposed to be teaching them!” Well, we are; but if we stop long enough to watch them they can teach us some amazing stuff without even trying. They can even teach you stuff by trying to if you take the time to ask them about their school work. Have you seen the stuff they are learning in school?
Anyway, back on the main trail. Kids can teach us a lot about life and our relationship with God if we would just watch them. After all the parent/child relationship is one way that God uses to describe our relationship with Him.
Check out this story I read, "One day a two year old was playing with her daddy's shoes on the floor beside the table. She put her feet in them, stood up, and tried to walk across the room. She didn’t even get one step before she fell on her face. She got up and tried again. She fell again. Now she is getting frustrated and after one more failed attempt she is full-blown mad! But she is not mad at the shoes, she is mad at her daddy! They were his shoes and he should make them so she could walk in them, so she is mad at him."
We do this to God sometimes don’t we? We try to play God in our own lives. We take over God’s role then we get mad at Him because we can’t make it work or because He won’t make it work for us. Here’s a newsflash; we aren’t God! Only God is God. We can’t even pretend to be God much less do His job, or wear His shoes. Those are some big shoes to fill. So why should He make it work for us when we steal His job? When we tell Him we don’t need Him and we can do it ourselves why should He step in and make it work when we have wrestled or lives away from His plan and tried to plan our own lives?
God tells us in Psalms to “be still and know that I am God.” He wants us to stop taking over His job and stop playing God in our lives and in our world. He wants us to just relax and trust Him to be God. Trust that what He does in our lives is what is best for us and if we try to take it from Him we are going to hinder ourselves and hurt ourselves far more than if we just let God’s plan run its course. God is sovereign enough that He will give up control to us if we insist, but He would rather that we wear our own shoes and let Him wear His. God has plans for you and for this nation/world. His plans are to prosper, not to harm. So if it hurts for a while then that is best for us. Change and growth can be painful but after the pain the improvement makes it worth it. So let Daddy wear His own shoes. Oh yeah, also pay attention to your kids. They can teach you a lot, after all, the Bible says “that a child shall lead them,” but only if those are the shoes God made for the child. Talk to me, firstname.lastname@example.org