A while ago several of my kids and I got a kick out of watching the comedian Jerry Seinfeld on DVD. One of his bits has stuck with me, a clever commentary on children and their parents:
“Wait up! Hold up! Shut up! Mom, I’ll clean up! Just let me stay…up!”
Parents, of course, are just the opposite. Everything is down.
“Calm down. Slow down. Come down here. Sit down. Put that… down!”
In another week, all 9 of my grandchildren will be at my house. I’ve been working to baby-proof the rooms, removing breakables and swallowable objects as I go. No matter how I try, though, their parents will find all sorts of interesting things in those youthful mouths.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers are experts at reaching the things we adults think have been put… up. Not even the kitchen counters are safe once they figure out the stools. And so we do what level-headed adults do: we put stuff up higher.
Car keys, cell phones, ipods, DVDs, candles, phone chargers and other valuables will end up heaped in places we can barely reach. To us it’ll be a slight inconvenience. To the children it’ll be frustration. Their days will be spent looking… up, and scheming to bring stuff… down.
The problem comes in having cross purposes. Our little people judge themselves capable of handling adult-only items, while we know their touch brings death to valuables. Interestingly, when we provide substitutes, (toy phones or blank keys), they quickly learn the ploy and toss them aside.
Little children are to us what we are to God. When we look to him, it’s always “up.” He’s higher than we are in all categories, and his decisions to keep certain things out of our reach are for our good. Just as kids can’t understand why they can’t have our breakables, we get frustrated when God doesn’t give us what we want, too.
Children whine and reach endlessly for whatever is too high for them, but I ought never to whine at God. His “up’s” should be allowed to stay there without me complaining about it. When I’m wanting what he doesn’t want me to have, I’m missing what has already come… down… and is available to me: Jesus himself.
Someday, after a new heaven and earth come… down, even frustrated toddlers will finally be able to reach everything that used to be… up.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming… down… from the Father of the heavenly lights.” (James 1:17)
Praising and Praying with Mary
- I’m thankful for a family-filled holiday weekend and for feeling good after 2 weeks away from chemo.
- Please pray I’ll have an improved attitude about going back to chemo. Once I’m feeling good, it’s very hard to head back into it.