Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In time out with God

I was enjoying some quality time last night with Tabitha, preparing for bedtime as she vehemently denied being tired. While I changed clothes, and she calmed down, she noticed me in the closet hanging clothes and decided I needed to stay there. Forever. Tabitha looked at me with the sweetest face, began to close the door, and exuberantly told me that I was “trapped forever, you’ll never get out.” Cute. As I was trying to explain to her that I might get hungry while trapped forever, Tabitha decided to join me in the closet, explaining now that we were “hiding from God”. This, also, is cute because Tabitha is remembering a lesson from a few months ago in Sunday school when they studied and acted out Adam and Eve hiding from God. But then, in her most stern and scolding voice, Tabitha declared “God, you’re in time out! You’re not being nice!” Ahh, how do you explain to a three year old that God, or a parent, is being good even when she isn’t getting her way?

But this made me question how often we might say/think/believe the same thing. How often have I seen others blaming God, seen myself frustrated with Jehovah, because things are not going quite as I would have liked? It's so easy to lose perspective and focus only on what I want. To put things back in perspective, I need to stop a while, take a deep breath (not just of air but of Spirit) and try to remember to first blame myself. I know, in my head and in my heart, that God is not to be blamed because He is working for me. If it is a problem of situation, then I must trust that the difficulty is of a purpose from God and will be a part of the path that takes me onward. If it is a problem of relationships, then I must find my own sin and failure in the conflict if reconciliation is to be found. Very rarely have I seen an interpersonal conflict that did not have all parties involved in causing and exasperating the problem. In my own life, I have never been so faultless.

So the question remains: who is in time out?

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