For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3
My son is a great debater. He seems to have been born with this talent as he has been using it against me since he was all of 2 years old.
“Put your clothes up Robert,” I tell him.
“But Mom, I’m not going upstairs until later, can I just do it then?” he’ll challenge. “And why put them up anyway?” he asks. “I’m going to wear them tomorrow?”
And on it goes. I ask, he scoffs. I demand, he argues. I beg, he pleads his case. I must admit, he comes up with some pretty good reasons why things should be done his way and not mine. Sometimes it even makes me stop and think, maybe he’s right? And then I remember, hey, I’m the parent here and he’s the child! He should obey me- not question what I say.
My handsome debator
Does this sound familiar to you? After thinking about it for awhile it began to sound way too familiar to me! Me? A debater? Well…maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Here’s how it all too often goes…God asks me to do something that doesn’t fit into my perfectly planned day and I argue, “But my schedule is tight. I don’t have time to have a conversation with that person.” Or “It’s not on my to do list to stop by and speak to that friend, even though we haven’t talked two in weeks!”
And I implore, “How can You expect me to accomplish all of the things on my list and still find time to do these things too?”
Recently, I found myself at the paint store. As usual, I was in a hurry, multi-tasking and trying to meet a deadline. I walked in to pick up some samples while talking on the phone to a client and noticed a local painter friend sitting at a table.
“Hi.” I mouthed. And he quietly returned my greeting. After talking on the phone for several minutes while collecting my samples I was ready to head out the door.
“Stop and talk with him”, I suddenly heard in my head. “But I’m in a hurry!” I argued. “I have a list a mile long that I MUST complete and…well…OK…” and I turned to speak.
While I can’t say that the world’s problems were solved from our conversation, it was so nice to simply catch up with him for awhile. He is a godly man and even offered me some advice that I found very comforting and timely. And I received this blessing only because I listened to the Spirit's nudgings and obeyed. I have to wonder, how many more blessings might befall me or others if we just listen to God instead of arguing with Him?
I know that my son and I will continue our debating for many years. I truly think that one day this skill will be helpful to him. Maybe we have a future prosecutor on our hands? But as for me, my arguing days are dwindling as I listen and try to follow God’s nudging to seek and obey His will and direction for my life.
God, please help me to slow down and listen for your promptings and to remember, Your ways, not mine. Amen