“Oh, I got it! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!”
Today Molly spotted a fly on the back door and took a swipe at it, not really expecting anything to happen. But something happened. She wound up with a handful of … well … fly guts.
Reminds me a lot of sin. We see a temptation buzzing around. We take a swipe at it, in reality not expecting much to happen. But something happens. And we find ourselves with a life-full of fly guts.
Or a marriage-full of fly guts. This week we are talking in our Life Groups about marriage – “Holy Matrimonotony”. Fly guts (a.k.a. “sin”) make marriage messy, difficult, and slippery. One little opportunity to be dishonest. One hour alone with the computer. One business trip out of town by yourself. One daydream of “What life could be like with ________…” One little swipe at sin and – SMACK – you got it. And now you wish you hadn’t. You see why it was dumb. You regret ever having the idea.
So now what? Molly could have stood there with a handful of fly guts in denial that anything was wrong. She could have blamed the fly for being there. Or not moving. She could have rubbed it on her clothes or the wall or her brother (who ran over to look) and made a bigger mess of things. But instead, she got rid of the fly guts – she washed her hands.
In your marriage (or life in general), you have choices, too. You can act like nothing is wrong and get defensive when people question you. You can blame someone else…or the computer…or society…or whatever. You can point out other people’s sin, too, and make a bigger mess of it.
Or you can confess it, ask for forgiveness, and get rid of it. Now doesn’t that just make the most sense? What is keeping you from getting rid of the fly guts in your marriage?
Filed under Main, Ministry
In honor of school starting next week, I thought I’d post something … academic(?).
Molly Jane, who just turned 7, sometimes gets a little too smart for her own good. Not long ago, apparently I had been watching sports longer than she deemed wise. Because all of a sudden she was standing in front of me and holding out the BrainQuest game. I took it, a little confused, and said, “What is this for?” She tossed her beautiful red hair and replied (smugly), “You always say if we watch too much TV it’ll make our brains not very smart.”
I think she was insulting me.
And, in a more profound way, she was loving me. Helping me out. She didn’t want me to have a not very smart brain. And she was willing to take on sports to try to get through to me.
When was the last time you loved someone enough to encourage them to stop wasting time and start doing the right thing? It takes courage, and I’m so glad my Molly Jane has it. Do you?
We try to teach love in our home. We really do. But sometimes we are forced to question if it is doing any good. This St. Patrick’s Day was one such day.
Molly is 6. She drew a picture to celebrate the good holiday. Take your time. Enjoy every detail.
Which character were you (back in the day, of course – we’ll assume all of us have outgrown such childishness)? Were you the poor, frowning victim who innocently forgot to wear anything green? Or the dutiful rule enforcer, mercilessly pinching despite your cute bow, playful pigtails, and charming smile? Or best of all, the callous onlooker, safe on top of a hill and laughing away at the misfortune of others?
I must admit, I was the kid on the hill. I’m not proud of it. But there you go.
If you had drawn this picture, which child were you? (Or, if you happen to be a family therapist, where do we go from here?)
Last night when I put the girls to bed, Molly started to cry and said she was sad. I listened and talked to her for a few minutes, and then suggested she get her journal and write down to God what she was sad about. Later, when she was asleep I went in and peeked at her journal. (I know, I know. And I’ll quit when she is older. But for now, she’s 6 and I was curious.) I had to choke back the tears when I read it.
In case you can’t read it, here is what it says (leaving the spelling errors as only a 6 year old can make them)…
“Dear God help me not be sad evrey neit.
Dear God help me not just in the neit.”
Help me, not just in the night. How many times I have needed to pray that prayer. When I feel inadequate. When I know I’ve blown it and have to go apologize. When I’m scared at what the future holds. When life just keeps piling on.
“But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice….Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:16, 17 & 22
I’m so glad Molly knows she can ask God for help “not just in the neit”. And I’m even more glad we have a God who wants to hear from His children. So what’s on your heart that you need to tell God about, even if you’re reading this in the middle of the day?
A couple days ago I was with the kids at the pool. While trying to teach Nathan and Anne how to dive, I looked over and watched Molly very intentionally step up to the edge of the pool. She had a focused, determined posture and look. I could tell she was thinking hard about what she was doing, and she was a little bit scared. After a second or two of collecting her wits and balance, she slowly raised both arms and cocked one knee up high and I immediately recognized she was about to do “The Crane”. (Yes, my 6 year old daughter has seen The Karate Kid … several times.) So there she is, arms and knee raised as high as she can get them, studying her landing for several seconds. After what would have been a very choreographed dramatic pause in a movie – but in real life just Molly gathering her courage – she leapt. And I must say, executed a very nice “Crane Kick” right into the water. As a dad I almost cried.
Molly is so pure. She had a thought – “I wonder if I can jump in the pool like the Karate Kid?” You could see the concern and fear on her face, but you could also see the courage and determination welling from deep within.
I wish I could describe the pride on her face when her little head bobbed back up above the surface. But I suspect my little face was pretty proud, too, the way a father’s should be when his children take risks. And possibly, just possibly, the way our Heavenly Father beams with pride at us, His beloved children.