Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wayward Child

The other night while half of the family was at baseball, the other half of us took a walk and bike ride. We biked to the playground at school and played for a while with all the other people who were waiting for their baseball players.

On our way home we took the "main road". I usually don't mind if the older kids go ahead of me a little. They know to stop and wait at the intersections. That night my daughter did not stop. I was calling to her and running after her as fast as I could while pulling Annie on her bike and pushing Maren in the stroller (so...not very fast).

She has been known to pretend she doesn't hear us and just keep on going down the path to disobedience. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't leave Annie behind. And it was useless to keep calling; she was too far ahead to hear now. Eventually I couldn't see her anymore.

As I got close to our house, I could see her sitting on the porch. I was STEAMED! She knows better and I had a pretty good notion that she heard me calling her. Maren and I took a slow walk down the driveway since she likes to get out and push the stroller which gave me some much needed time to calm down and regroup.

After spending some time in her room, we had a little chat. She admitted she did hear me. I explained to her that it was a reckless and dangerous thing to do. She's too young to have enough judgment to ride by herself on a busy road. Most of all, it hurts me when she doesn't obey.

I regret that I am also a wayward child. Though I know what my Father desires and hear Him calling, I often choose to keep going down my own rebellious and dangerous path. I choose not to turn back to the safety of his arms because I think my way is better. It's a cheap freedom.

Maybe now I have the ability to see it from God's view. He desires to keep me safe and He loves me; that's why He calls out to us.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
John 10:27-28

I have seen in a new way all the times I have hurt my heavenly Father by running on ahead. I do not want to hurt the One who loves me so much He gave his life for me. But I do and it's miserable.

I am beyond thankful that I have a forgiving and compassionate Father. When I turn away from my rebellion, He is there with open arms.

It's easy for me to miss the restoration part of discipline. Sometimes I want to just give out a punishment and let them know they messed up. But that's not the point. I want to offer my kids my earthly version of Christ's love and forgiveness through which they can see Him.

Exodus 34:6-7
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming
"The Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness,
maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished;
he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers
to the third and fourth generation."

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