Monday, May 12, 2008

From the Backseat # 5 A Developing Theology

Actually, this one is from Jeff’s backseat. While I was out of town a few weekends ago, I think Jeff played
“grandpa” with Julia and Brighton. At least that is what it seems like to me. He does all kinds of out of the ordinary things with them like feeds them “fun” food, lets them sleep downstairs and buys them “special” drinks. So, how do I know these things? I found throw pillows in my bedroom in strange places and bed covers more disheveled than usual. I found cherry stems in the car cup holders which scream of a trip to Sonic. I can tell by the brown bananas and what is left in the refrigerator how many times they ate out. With late night softball games, Sonic runs and eating out, they spent some time in the car and that means Jeff spent a lot of time listening and granting “the floor” to either Julia or Brighton. One night, this is what Jeff overheard. “Julia, can you open this for me?” “No, I can’t,” she responded. He thought for a second, turned to his sister and said, “Work it out.” No response from his sister. He thought again and then added, “Ask God to help you.”

After I had a good laugh, I thought, again, about how typical Brighton’s responses are for me—so much like a hokey Christian movie plot or any "Touched by an Angel" rerun-- the usual mistake of doing it my way and when that doesn’t pan out, finally asking for help from the One who has been waiting patiently to do it through me. Thankfully, Julia and Brighton are still figuring all this out and have not developed this debilitating habit. As I have said before, in so many words, the problem is, I am responsible for modeling this simple and beautiful dependency.
A few weeks ago, it was Jeff's turn to be out of town and it didn't go so well without him here. Sometimes when I have days like this, it makes me think of when I took bowling for P.E. in college (I know, so lame, but since I was pre-pharmacy, I never needed to camp out to get the classes I needed. Nobody wanted them, however, I always got sorry P.E. classes.) Anyway, I had a great gutter ball. To say the least, this was frustrating to me. Every time, my ball would curve far right and make that familiar thudding sound and roll its way into bowling pin neverland. All pins were able to sigh with relief and remain standing tall and until my instructor helped me to roll the ball a completely different way, I continued rolling it into the gutter on the right. That’s how I feel at home sometimes- like I am throwing gutter balls when it comes to my responses to certain situations. When Jeff was gone, I threw out my best efforts only to watch them slant right into the familiar gutter of overreaction, snippy comments, and irritation. Lovely. Again. I am still reading Andrew Murray’s little treasure, Absolute Surrender, thinking each chapter is better than the last, but at some point, I have got to do something completely different. Think differently, process things differently, choose differently, train and discipline differently, talk differently, love differently. B’s second response of “Ask God to help you,” is simple…….almost too simple for me to really grab hold of and practice. However, I am learning it is critical, so therefore, I must do it. Ask for help……and ask often.

“O wretched [woman] that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?”


simple musings said...

"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." We could learn a lot from our children, couldn't we?

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

These backseat postings make me want to roadtrip with your family across the U.S.!

Anonymous said...

A great lesson from your wise little one. Wasn't Einstein who said the famous quote about insanity is when you do the same thing over and over, expecting different results? Sounds like you've been reading my journal. At some point, something does have to really change if we are to progress. But usually that change is deep down, not just in a behavior. As usual, thanks for sharing!

Kathie said...

It is so cool how God uses Julia and Brighton in your life, and Biskit and Cookie in my life to teach us both about HIM. An amazing God. Kathie

TJ Wilson said...

love the descriptions of all you discovered - the spy work is not terribly challenging after a weekend away, is it?!