Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prolonging the inevitable

Ok. We all know that whenever there is a schedule to be followed, something that needs accomplishing or, we're in a hurry, that it invariably prompts the best, most complicated questions from our children.

So it was this day when we were trying to prepare for bed. I was helping my boys get themselves into the shower when such a moment arose. My son looked at me and asked a question about something that makes him uniquely male. No, I'm not talking about his ability to think entirely different than me but rather something a bit more fundamental.

Ok, now that you know where we're going, the conversation went a little like this. "Mom, what is this part called?" I respond with the appropriate name thinking I've handled that well. And then, I hear, "Mom what is is for and what is in there?" Sigh.

Again, I provide a reasonable response and give the most generic answer I can, "It's part of the man's reproductive system." Ok, now I'm beginning to feel like I'm at a tennis match. Unfortunately, the volley continues. I just want him to get himself in the shower so we can move forward. But here comes the ball again.

"But mom, what does it do?"

I've a feeling this is going to continue for a long time so I take the tack that any parent would or perhaps should, "That is a good question but this is not the best time to talk about that. Let's get finished in the shower and we can discuss it another time."

Ok, I brace myself for another question, or a response I'm not ready to deal with and I hear, "Mom, was it a scientific question?" I look at my son's face and it is lit up with anticipation of my response and I tell him, "Yes, it was a very scientific question." He is now beaming, climbs in the shower and goes about his business.

I am now trying not to laugh too loudly, breath to heavily or allow my children to hear me praising God too loudly. Here I was waiting for a question answer session that could perhaps be neverending and my sweet son simply wants to know if it was a "scientific question". Amazing.

I know there are times that the Lord has things for me to do and sometimes, just like my kids, I'm not ready to or just don't want to so I hope to prolong the inevitable with distractions. How often do I barrage the Lord with questions in my prayer life and fail to listen to what He is saying? I may not be seeking explanations about how things "work" but I come to Him seeking answers when it's not where He wants me to be.

Why is it that my children can be so much more gracious than I? My son was getting the gentle nudge toward what I had planned for him and rather than get angry or try to continue, he simply wanted a little verbal pat on the back as he went about his way.

Unfortunately, I don't always proceed so quietly when I am gently nudged to the plans the Lord has for me. I'm ashamed to admit that I sometimes go kicking and screaming.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:10-12

The Lord loves us and does have plans for us. We may not always want to step out and do what He wants us to do but He wants us to. And, if we listen closely, I'm quite convinced that He is gently nudging us and saying, "That was a great question but let's do this first and talk about that later." I know I've heard Him say it to me. It is my prayer that I can be as gracious as my children, accept the gentleness and trust my Father as he points me in the right direction.


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