Our house is at the top of the hill. I liked it when I thought about the safety of our home should the river ever flood - (hey I was in North Dakota in '97 - some things never leave your cognisance!) Our house and our neighbor's house adorn the top - the very crest of the hill. I like the location of our house.
Unless... I am walking to it. You see since it is at the top of the hill there is no easy way to walk to our house. You always have to go uphill to get to our house; making the last 2 minutes of any walk the hardest part.
It was on a walk today that Zak began complaining. His legs were tired and he just wanted to be home - the home he saw just feet in front of him. He made sure that he told me how much he was tired of walking - how he wanted to stop and never walk again. The whine in his voice finally drew me to an understanding that I needed to take care of the attitude behind his complaints.
I told him I knew his legs were tired ( I knew because mine were too!). I then went on to tell him the reason why his legs were tired. I showed him the hill and explained that it took more effort walking up a hill than down the hill. (I also was stalling for time - to allow my legs a bit of a reprieve from the climb). I encouragingly said that we were almost home and then he could sit down and rest.
We began our uphill trek again but we had not taken more than ten steps when the his complaints resounded. This time I did not try to reason with him, or coax him into the exercise before him. I simply leaned down and said, "You are complaining and it will stop right now. I know your legs hurt; but you need to stop complaining - now."
To a passerby, perhaps I would be viewed as a Mom with a lack of compassion. Yet, I view it differently. I am training him for the future - for life. Not always will the task in front of him be easy - sometimes it may even hurt. With the future in the forefront, I view this as an opportunity to train - the heart. I must not look just at the circumstances that confront me today in the here and now. I must look at this is opportunities - conditioning grounds, should we say, - for his future.
It was a joy to my heart to see his eyes meet mine - and know that he understood. Without another complaint he finished his walk to the house. Within minutes of being inside his legs had stopped hurting and he was playing with his cars on the floor. Yet, I think - I hope - I pray that he took away from that walk much more. Life is not about ease - it is about doing what you are supposed to do with the right heart attitude - even if it hurts.
Sometimes in the ministry I will listen to adults complaining about how hard serving God is.
"It's just so hard to get the kids ready for prayer meeting after a long day at school."
"Teaching a Sunday school class requires too much time to prepare."
"Dressing modestly requires too much effort."
The list could go on and on. I have had my own complaints down through the years. The complaints came when the focus was on me - and my convenience. How I want to instill within my children that life is not all about them, life is not always easy.
I wonder how the cause of Christ would be affected if we all would own this life lesson? Today I purpose to try to walk through the hard times of life quietly; and as I walk, I will remember - I am not quite home yet.
Thanks so much for stopping by I am so glad you did.