"Mommy, I got marker on the bed."
Me: seeing huge, bold, black strokes covering a ten inch square on the bedspread
"Sami! You did this on purpose!"
"You know that is wrong."
"Then why did you do it?"
"I didn't have any paper, so it's not my fault."
Now, I confess that I am a bad mother and the first thing I could do was burst out laughing at that last statement. Because, as much as I think she is so much like her father, in this instance, she is her MOTHER. Those words came out of my mouth SO MANY times growing up! I could just SEE my parents gloating as she said it, telling me that my time has come. I am dealing with MYSELF.
"It's not my fault."
It made perfect sense, to me, that it wasn't my fault when I wrecked the car. There was ICE and I SLID. How could that be my fault?
It made sense, every time I dropped a plate, (which happened, oh, every night. Adolescence was NOT a graceful time for me) that this was not something I INTENDED to do, was OBVIOUSLY an ACCIDENT, and therefore NOT MY FAULT.
And my Dad, and Mom, and brothers, would laugh, and still enjoy mocking me with my laissez-faire approach to personal responsibility.
So when Sami said it wasn't her fault, it knocked me over. And it so related to some things that I have been thinking and praying about, that I just could not miss the application . . .
I've been thinking a lot about sin, and it's consequences, and a few of the things I had written just this morning regarding sin were so applicable:
I chose to sin when:-I thought maybe this (temptation) was my only choice (I want to color and all there is is this bed).
-boredom (there's nothing to do, I'll just color on the bed)
-I remember longing to change, but feeling trapped even though I really wasn't. I thought I couldn't leave but I totally could have. My prison wasn't real (There is this marker in my hand. I happen to by lying on the bed. I have no choice but to color on it).
And here's the thing: I am an artist. There is NOTHING I LOVE more than to see my child coloring, or painting, and to color and paint with her . . . if she had asked I would have given her great piles of paper! Rooms of paper! If I have anything to do with it, my daughter will NEVER run out of PAPER! Ever.
And I think of the God of JOY who must surely have these vast OCEANS of JOY that He's willing to give us, and the God of PEACE that is bigger than MOUNTAINS, and LOVE, and WISDOM, and HOPE . . . all of these things that God doesn't just think are nice, but He embodies them! He has limitless resources of these things, and gives them freely, LAVISHLY, joyfully to His children when we ask. Surely, He even hopes we will make good use of them, that we will just try and see if we can't use up all the rooms of paper or joy or wisdom that He has to give us.
But it requires that tiny step of faith, that act of will to RESIST the right NOW; resist coloring on the bed, being satisfied with less, resist believing the lie that this is all there is, the only choice, as good as it gets . . . and come to Him.
God never coerces us . . . When we choose deliberately to obey Him, then He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power. -Oswald Chambers