“Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?” Proverbs 20:10-12
I have begun to understand the concept of being like a little child in the kingdom of the one true God. It has nothing to do with acting irresponsibly, being childish or stupid. It is encompassed in this one phrase ‘complete and total dependence’. I was speaking to a ‘mid-wife’ friend of mine just yesterday. We were talking about the holidays and the fact that she worked on New Year’s eve. She said there were lots of babies born that day, but none was dropped along with the ‘glitter-ball’ (i.e. non was born at exactly 12am). We talked about babies, how cute they were at that age and oh so dependent. If they soiled themselves and you did not clean them up, there was nothing they could do for themselves. If they were hungry, they helplessly waited to be fed (perhaps screaming on top of their lungs). Should you still decide not to feed them, they would not be fed… 😦 Absolutely dependent on you.
The dependence of a child is slightly different from that of a new born baby. Unlike a baby, the child is beginning to know right from wrong, develop a personality (or multiple – help us Lord!), and form a will (often self-centered). They are still fully dependent but they do not feel that way. The fact that they can now move, talk and articulate their feelings, makes them think that they have been handling everything concerning them up until that time. They feel self-sufficient and three-years old going on to thirty-years old.
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” Proverbs 22:14-16
Before anyone starts thinking and going that sounds like my child, ask yourself this question. How are my with God? Have I time and again rejected His counsel on my dealings, conduct and character. Purposefully repeating the same actions and mistakes that grieve the Holy Spirit, and expecting Him to bless my tantrums as I supposedly glide on to live a peaceful, successful and healthy life. Do I still throw caution to the wind, as I touch the ‘untouchable’ and play with the forbidden of which God has admonished me before. Maybe because it seems to feed the pride of my flesh and until now I have not suffered any consequences. See Samson: an unexpected and sad turn of events.
“Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.” Judges 16:19-21
My best friend’s second son likes drama and pushing buttons. My buttons are out-of-bounds, but he did not know it at the time of this occurrence. Once when all three of them came to visit, I put out some math work for his older brother to solve ( he is very intelligent, and needs his mind stimulated constantly). I had some books to read to him, but he would not have it. All he wanted to do was bother his bigger brother, tear-up books and turn the place upside down. The latter part I had no problem with at the moment, because I knew that was what little boys did. But he needed to know he could not punch his brother and tear up his books just because he was having a bad day! I asked him to stop, but he stuck his tongue out at me and did this silly dance on all four limbs. He kicked the time-out chair and asked me to go on time out myself (son I will have you know that I did my time already). Then he promptly marched to the refrigerator to cool of with some ice-cream, my ice-cream (might I add)! He knew exactly where it was kept, as he almost climbed in and grabbed it (even though it was almost his size). As he struggled to open the bucket (yep, child safety latch installed), I ignored him. His little fingers though busy and determined, could not pry open the bucket lid.
He pulled and pulled, punched and hit the bucket but to no avail. Then he threw it across the room as I muffled a prayer under my breath. All the while he stole glances at me in defiance and frustration. Meanwhile, I looked away and went about my business as if he was not even in the room. He then asked his older brother for help, completely forgetting how much he tormented him a little while ago. His older brother tried with the bucket, but could not open it. He too was a child! Then he asked him (his older brother) to come ask me to open the bucket (oops someone was out of favour with the captain of this ship). His older brother took one look at me and went back to solving mathematical problems (smart boy). After twenty minutes of misery and pure hell as his short little life knew it and could handle, he bounces over to me, dragging my dripping ice-cream bucket behind him.
He plopped the bucket on my lap with drip and all, and then with tear filled eyes and head bent just stood there. I wanted to cry too, but some things needed to be fixed once and for all. It was imperative that the little ‘prince’ understand that we do not need to have a repeat performance along these lines again. If not, some basic foundations would never be laid, and then it would be too late. I asked him why he was crying as he stood in front of me a picture of misery. He pointed to the bucket with his cute chubby fingers. I said “but you had lunch already, why do you still need to have the ice-cream?” He said “I like ice-cream because it taste good.” I said I understood that, but his attitude had been so unpalatable how much more sweet, that I could not reward him for bad behaviour. I asked him if he was ready to make things right, and he nodded. So I said what was the first thing I told you to do, that you disobeyed…
What was the first thing God asked you to do that you disobeyed? Obey that; and then walk your way back to now. You could never move beyond that unfinished business. Unlike some schools here, you are not going to the next grade unless you actually pass the test! Surprise! One obedience at a time and right in front of you will be a huge bucket of multi-flavoured and creamy ice-cream (or whatever it is you want from the LORD).
I still remember little ‘Romeo’ and I smacking our lips as we enjoyed our much disturbed and melted bucket of ice-cream… Then of course, he later did a more cohesive version of his victory dance, but this time not on all fours but as a cute, loving little boy who had found favor with this writer.
“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.” Proverbs 8:31-33