Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's Your One?

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them,
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
~ Mark 10:14 NIV ~
I have been chewing on an idea for a couple weeks now. It begins in the same ballpark as the whole "what one thing would you want with you on a deserted island" question but it's focus is a whole lot closer to home. It began on one of those days where the struggle is typical, but on that particular day, for whatever reason, it feels like too much.
He forgot the homework at school. His shoes are on the wrong feet. His binder that holds all his school paperwork has been stabbed repeatedly with a ball point pen and the cover is holding on by on small vinyl thread. He lost another mitten - this is the fourth pair since November. The hole in his pants that, this morning was the size of Rhode Island, is now the size of Texas.
At some point I remember stopping and scolding myself for making such a list. I wasn't being helpful or loving; I was tired and impatient in my thoughts and actions. It occurred to me at that moment that there must be a better system for quickly and consistently identifying the battles that matter and "fighting" them. In the long run, does it REALLY matter that he wears his shoes on the wrong feet? What about the constant impulse control issues that get him in quite a bit of trouble; are those the battles worth fighting or will he simply grow out of that?
It all came down to one deserted island question: If I could only tackle - with great success - ONE issue with my son, what would it be?
From the second I ask myself that question, the stress level and frustration I feel decreases immensely because right off the bat - I can eliminate his salvation from the possible answers. I know, with great certainty, that my son will be in Heaven when he dies. He may struggle with the ways of this earth, but he has the ways of Heaven down better than I do most days. He seeks God with a relentless amount of excitement and genuine curiosity. He doesn't know why he stabs his binder (I asked him.) but he does know why we read his Kid's Bible each night before bed. He knows where he will go when he dies and - most importantly - he knows why. When he knows and believes these things, what is there left to be concerned about? 
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10:13-14 NIV) 
My ONE issue that I choose to carry out with my son is there, spoken very clearly by Jesus himself. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them. If I spend too much time having discussions on what he needs to correct about his physical being, the focus becomes that. That sounds like a hindrance to me. However, if I focus my discussions with my son on how he can come to Jesus every day, the focus is on that and the rest of the issues will fall into place through that.

I like that MUCH better.

PRAY: Lord, so many moments with my kids are spent fighting battles that just don't matter. I hinder them by letting my worries become the focus of our time together. Give me the wisdom to instead focus my efforts on teaching them to come to you. Let me cast aside all my other cares and love them towards you one day at a time. Amen.

Emily Krill

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