When I was younger it never failed, I would get up in the morning, run to the standing heater and try and wake up. While in the midst of trying to warm up/wake up my mom (who had been up for hours) would start to list off the things she wanted me to do that day. It would take all my willpower and strength not to growl and spear her with daggers coming from my eyes. I definitely did not want to hear what she had to say. She wasn’t purposely trying to have me glare at her but she was already in “go mode” for the day and was subtlety trying to get me there too.
My dad did this too but in a different light, whenever we went on vacation to Yosemite National Park (which was almost every summer of my childhood) he would let us know that every other day while there we would be doing a hike. Most of the time these hikes were all day and meant that we would have to get up early and do a bunch of switchbacks in the sun. I know there was grumbling and growling going on, but it never changed his mind, and we always ending up on a mountain.
As time went on, and my family grew my kids were receiving the same treatments I got. When chores were not getting done, there would be reminders. When we went on vacations that had mountains involved we would end up on a hike. When school work needed to be done, we would tell them about the reminders we would get emailed to us. These were things they most definitely did not want to hear about.
One of my hubby’s favorite things to say to me is “next time….” and then he would tell me a way I could do something better next time that I had talked to him about. He never meant these “next times” to be annoying, he actually would be trying to help, but man would I get so upset when he threw the “next time” in there. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, because that meant that I didn’t do it good enough the first time.
The people we have in our lives are there to help us, whether it’s to help us see we need to move on or move up in our own growth. When my momma would list off the chores I needed to get done she was teaching me responsibility. Yes, letting me wake up would have been better, but I learned that she trusted me to get done what she asked. When my dad told us of the hikes we were going to do, they sounded nearly impossible for someone that was “young” but those are the memories I cherish the most. If I would have refused to go and defy him I would have missed out on the packed lunches on the side of a river. I would have missed out on the views of the valley on top of a waterfall. I would have missed time spent with my family that instilled in me the importance of family strength. Don’t tell my hubby this but if I would have just set my pride aside and listened to his “next times” I would have had an easier time doing some of the tasks that I was doing.
This past weekend was Palm Sunday. Jesus was going into Jerusalem on a donkey. The religious leaders were telling Him he needed to quiet His disciples because they were celebrating too loudly. They did not like that they were seeing the Old Testament prophecies coming true before their eyes. Because they did not like what they were seeing and hearing they were going to miss out on what Jesus was offering. They had no power to change what was happening. They tried everything, and would be ordering His death soon. Even in that, the most unthinkable thing to happen, would not stop what Jesus was doing, and they would miss out because they did not like what He was about.
I would hate to miss out because I didn’t like what was being said, or if I didn’t like what was going on. In my life I would have missed out beautiful views because of a hard hike. I would have missed out on learning because I didn’t want to open my ears to listen. I would love to say that if Christ told me to go I would go without hesitation. My faith isn’t as strong as I would like it to be though. I am getting there, I am trying to listen and I am trying to obey. I would hate to find out that I missed out on something so life changing all because I didn’t want to take the time to stop and be still while He whispers. Listening and hearing are too different things. Listening and acting on what we hear is what shows maturity and humility. Who wouldn’t want to have these qualities? Until next time:
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5