Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now? Can You Hear Me Now?

It's so annoying when I'm talking to someone on my cell phone and they keep cutting out. Or I keep cutting out. Or we both keep cutting out. And it's all, "#*&*&# time I *#&$* and he just looked at me and, can you believe he *&#^ all over the floor."


In this day and age, why can't we just find a 100% reliable form of communication where no one is left in the dark, the message is clear and the action desired is obvious? I'll tell you why - because once that happens, we'd all become responsible for those actions - and we can't have that, can we? Sometimes not following through and feigning ignorance is so much easier. The path of least resistance.

I truly believe God puts people in our paths, make situations pop up around us, knocks us over the head with things, if He needs to. But the tricky part is the interpretation. Once I have a feeling that several incidents are too similar in nature to be coincidence, I start to really feel in the midst of God. But what does he want?! I feel like I'm on a cell phone with Him, and He's going through a tunnel. I want to scream, "What? What? I can't hear you! WHY DO YOU TAKE THE TUNNEL WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO CALL ME?!?"

Where is this going? Bear with me.

My middle son, Joel (10) is so unbelievably frustrating a lot of the time. It's because he's too smart and possesses an old soul. I believe he will finally be at peace when his knowledge of the world around him catches up to the way his mind works and the way his heart feels things. But right now, it's like he's a 40-year-old man stuck in this 10-year-old's mind and body! And he's going to drive me to the brink of insanity trying to get out.

One of the biggest issues we have with him is his obeying because he should. He always feels that what he's thinking is so much better of an idea than the ramshackle way we are running things around here. His racing mind is just too much to ignore when it comes right up against something we are telling him to do or not to do. Much of what he does is not out of malice, but because this would be so much better of a thing to do/way to do that/way to go, etc. He has been like this non-stop since he was two.

So just straight obedience/disobedience is a hot topic in our home.

Last evening, he and I were driving to Target and had settled on a local radio station that was actually a minister preaching about discipline in the context of children needing to be disciplined because they aren't born knowing what's right and have to be taught. It's only a 10-minute drive, so we heard very little.

But later, I asked if he'd learned anything from what he'd heard, thinking perhaps he'd picked up on the whole you-need-to-do-what-you're-told aspect. He looked at me and said, "Yeah. I learned that discipline is not only about your choice to discipline me - there are spiritual reasons behind what you do."

That, my friends, is my 40-year-old son. And I'm here to admit to you that I didn't even pick up on that aspect of the sermon in the time we were listening. His ability to pick up on ideas that really should be beyond him is amazing. Now if he'd just remember to take his glasses off when he gets into the shower, it'd be all good.

Back to me trying to interpret what God's trying to say to me.

So we heard that last night. Then this morning, the van radio was still on the same station when I left, and there was someone else on there talking about teaching obedience being the very basis of parenting; that if there was one thing that is most important in teaching your kids, it's obedience because everything else in the rest of their life will be based on that one way or another.

Yes, I agree with that. I mean, this is exactly what we're trying to get into Joel's head right now. I already know this.

Then as I approached the car in front of me at a stop light, I am not even kidding, the guy's license plate said, "93OBEY" (I changed the numbers, but you get the gist). Now I'm feeling like God's trying to say something to me - but what is it?

Am I focusing so much on trying to pound into Joel's head that he needs to obey that I'm overlooking an area where I should be obeying? The best way to teach someone something is through you're own actions, so I'm left wondering if there is an area of my life where I'm not being obedient and God's knocking me in the head, "Hello?"

So if you know me and have any ideas, I'll be glad to hear them. Otherwise I'll just keep praying for discernment . . . and begin reading all the bumper stickers on the cars around me.

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