"Get your book bag and get in the truck," I said to my son for the second time.
"Ok," he said.
I went to ensure the lights were off and house set. Upon returning to the kitchen, I find my son talking to his brother and sister about a Flat Stanley book. No book bag on his back. Ugh!
I got down on his eye level, put my hand on the book about a flat boy and said firmly with eye contact, "Get your book bag and get in the truck."
"Yes, sir," he replied with a touch of frustration.
My frustration was building and wondering if there was going to be a true life "Flat Stanley" in our home! I turned to get my gear for the day and walking to the door to leave, I find my beautiful, wonderful, amazing (not yet flat) son playing with an eraser!
No book bag on his back...
What?! I thought I had done it all right. I got on his level. I made eye contact. I made physical contact to get his attention. I used a calm, firm voice. Why wasn't he in the truck?! His brother and sister were in the truck. They got the hint and I wasn't even speaking to them!
"Ok," I said back at his eye level. "What is it going to take to get you to do what you were told? Lose all video games and TV for a month?"
"No," he replied. His eyes seemed glazed over.
"Then get your tail in gear, get your book bag, and get in the truck!"
He grabbed his book bag and got in the truck. I shook my head, muttering like Yosemite Sam. What was this kid's problem? What is so difficult about listening to simple instructions and doing them? What is so distracting about an eraser anyway?
After dropping the kids at school, I got a moment to pray and read Scripture in the park. I had been praying about some choices we are having to make as a family that will affect ministry, finances, schedules, etc. They are important choices. Big decisions. They are really, really important!
Strangely, as I was reading the Psalms while sitting in the park, it felt as if God was getting down on my eye level. He was putting His hand on all those decisions, looking me in the eye and saying, "I've been telling you what to do, but you haven't been listening."
It suddenly seemed as if all the decisions I deemed so important were like my son's book or eraser. They were just things in life, normal things. What was my problem? What's so difficult about listening to simple directions? What's so distracting about the choices before me? What was it going to take to get me to do what I was supposed to do?
It would be nice to blame it on some kind of spiritual ADHD. The reality is I am prideful. I think my little world is so big. I think my situation has the highest priority. I am putting my agenda before all others, including God's. Thanks to the little mirror walking around my home known as my son, I realized I just haven't been listening.
If you're reading this, I'm sure you've NEVER struggled with