I was thinking and planning on writing on a different topic this week. I had it all written out and ready to go, but conversation at the dinner table last night invoked other ideas.
Sitting at the dinner table with my family last night, I listened and observed the actions and responses from each of the children. There were constant remarks about each other, usually negative and sometimes just mean.
The topic somehow turned to the idea of what ifs and the different scenarios of the imaginative life. Their speech and thoughts were totally self centered ideas. Everything was about what they wanted.
I processed as long as I could and threw in a hypothetical; and I asked a very serious question to each of them. "If we were going to move, why do you think your opinion would even matter? If we stay and decide to live with the poor and minister what right do you have to say no?" "Who are you anyway? What right do have in this house to put any demands on me or your mother?" I waited for responses from each of them. I explained to each of them that their mother and I put a roof over their head, supply food, clothing and all the necessities they need and more. Then I asked them what their contribution was in this house as to put forth a valid opinion on what we should or could do. No response.
Rather harsh sounding I know, but then I led them to reasoning which I was actually working through in myself at the time. I explained the best I could that this life that we have is not about them, it is not about me. This life is not about what we want. I gave an illustration of the planets and how they revolve around the sun. The sun I said does not go around the earth, but we act like life, people and even G-d should revolve around us. We are not created for G-d to serve us, rather we are made to worship G-d, serve each other and love the way Jesus Messiah loves us.
I was angry not only with my children s attitudes, but also with my own. I would say out loud that I seek G-d and his will, but really I would like for his will to be my own. How stinking selfish is that?
We went back to the story of Cain and Able, and how Cain rose up in jealousy against his own brother and committed the first murder. The question was asked by G-d to Cain,"where is your Brother?" The response from Cains resounds so clear today in each one of us;"Am I my brothers keeper?"
Our response in this life is not a matter of our opinion, which we might think, because we are who we are, might carry some weight, matters for nothing. Who are we to think that we can mistreat each other, slander, abuse and hurt one another?
This life that we have is given by an all powerful G-d who alone holds the opinion that matters. Let us be willing to be conformed to this truth, to understand that this life consists of loving G-d and loving people. If we love G-d, we will love people like G-d loves us. This life is about G-d, knowing the one who made each of us and expending our energies loving our neighbor as ourselves. G-d matters and this life is a gift and it is to be given away freely.
I don't know what is going on in my children s hearts this morning about what was spoken last night, but my own heart is convicted and I am saddened at my own attitudes and opinions. I am once again brought to the light of truth, and this that I am dust and clay, and that I must repent and follow the footsteps of the Master and His instruction and not my own ways.
I'll end here, because I must cook pancakes for my kids, but this thought of keeping my heart right comes from my reading this morning. I just finished The letter to the Hebrew and this passage in Chapter 12 is very fresh in my thinking."..Let us also lay aside every weight and sin which cling so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of G-d."
Somehow that statement holds a lot of opinion with authority. Let's keep looking to and following His steps, because that matters most.