|Posted by Lorraine Serra on November 17, 2010 at 7:22 AM|
Because neither of our young high school men read my blog, I feel it safe to share a real life lesson that happened last night and this morning.
The reason it spoke so loudly to my heart is that the principle of obedience and the consequences of disobedience are so real.
Evidently, yesterday was the big “release” day for some new video games, and each of our sons has a friend who invited them over to check out their new acquisitions. I agreed to drive each son to his friend’s house, as long as homework was handled since it would be after 9 pm when I picked them up.
They came home tired, grumpy and in need of a warm bed. This morning, our young freshman who catches the 6:25 am bus, dragged himself out of bed at the last minute, mumbling about being exhausted and not in possession of a certain English essay outline assignment. What?!?
“Now I’ll have to rush and do it, and it will be trash, cuz school sucks and I’m tired and I hate getting up at 6 o’clock and “….gripe, complain, mumble, blame.
“Mmm, that’s a bummer,” I offered. “Well, you can ask God for strength, but He can’t bless disobedience.”
“I knew I shouldn’t have told you. Now you’re calling me an idiot!” So defensive!
“No, but you made a choice. You wouldn’t be all stressed out and grumpy now if you had spent your time a little differently last night.”
“Yes, you are! You’re saying it without saying it. You’re calling me an idiot!”
“I don’t have to say it, you already know it.”
“I’m out of here. I’m going to school.”
“I love you. Have a great day. God bless you.”
As parents of teenagers, we expect these outbursts from time to time. It is part of growing up.
The thought occurred to me that the price of maturity is sometimes painful. Will the consequences of our wrong choices, our disobedience serve to build us up in that maturity or plant seeds of bitterness and blame?
Blame is the absence of maturity. Defensive attitudes signal guilt. Our son knew he blew it, but directed his anger at me rather than rightly at himself. Should I reward that behavior? Nope.
Should he then expect God to bless that behavior? Nope. But God blesses the repentant heart which expresses sorrow and the desire to hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matt 5)
I’m just as guilty. Daily I make choices, small, subtle choices that disobey the commands of my loving Lord. At times I fail to care properly for my temple by poor eating, not exercising, or resting for health. That is disobedience. I may be less than attentive to my husband. That is disobedience.
I confess that I allow stuff to pile up and I procrastinate. God is a God of order, and peace with an intentional plan. Am I more like Him today? Did I even try? Did I ask for His Holy Spirit’s management and direction? That is disobedience.
Am I fretting and anxious over something? That is disobedience. Is “self” more powerful in getting my attention than pleasing the Lord?
Conscious choices. That is what maturity is about. When I experience the natural consequences of disobedience: anxiety, heartburn, weight gain, frustration, stiffness, strained relationships, I will have only myself to blame, the same self that so badly needed satisfaction in the moment, rather than submission to the Lordship of Christ. Thank God for His endless mercy!
I’m sure our son’s English essay outline will suffice for the rough draft. But, his heart needs editing; my heart needs editing. This life we are living needs the instruction of the Master to produce the final polished story.