Don’t Step on the Pumpkins!
“Caleb, get down!” “Don’t step on the pumpkins!” “Stay with Mom and Dad!” “Stop running away!” “Say ‘Excuse me!'” Our weekend trip to the Dallas Arboretum’s stunning pumpkin patch was definitely an exercise in parenting with grace. I’m not sure how graceful I was.
We took our six-year-old and met some friends there at the gate Saturday. Almost immediately we started having problems with his behavior. He wouldn’t stay with us, climbed all over the pumpkins and the foliage and ran in front of people coming the other way. To make matters worse, my blood sugar dropped and I had to grab a snack of nuts, cheese and fruit. By the time we walked out, I was exhausted and my whole body hurt. I’m still suffering from aches and pains from the trip.
Reflecting on this beautiful yet tiresome experience has me thinking about what God must go through with us. Does He ever get weary of us? Do we “wear Him out” like my son did me?
What Kind of Kid am I?
In my own life, I can say “Yes, without a doubt.” Can you imagine? God looks at me with unconditional love and yet He has every reason to say, “Don’t run ahead of me! Stop running away! Be kind to one another!” Or, “Use your manners!”
As His child, I know what I should do, yet don’t always do it. My life events are in His timing. I know I should be staying close to Him, but don’t always succeed. I know I should treat others in the way I wish to be treated but miss the mark sometimes. What kind of kid am I?
Well, it turns out I’m in good company. Apostle Paul expressed the same sentiment. “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:14-16).
I Behave Like My Son
In a spiritual manner of speaking, I sometimes behave like my son. What a revelation. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). It’s time to grow up (for me, not my six year old!). I must put away my spiritual childish behaviors like my son will when he’s grown. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way.
Thankfully, 1 John 1:9 reminds us that if we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What a blessing of grace!
I’m going to put away my spiritual childishness as God helps. Until then, I’ll try to avoid stepping on the pumpkins.