Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Falling

When I fall short, when I sin (which is an archery term that means "to miss the mark") I tend to do one of two things (and on reflection usually BOTH of them, in this order):
1. Justify (It wasn't my fault; I only did it because ________; At least I didn't kill someone, drive drunk, beat my kids, have an abortion...you get the idea)
2. Berate myself over and over again, obsessing over what a loser I am and wondering what God should do to punish me.

Now, I miss the mark quite often. It's usually not intentional. I say usually here, because frankly, sometimes in the heat of the moment I give way to anger and vent and in that moment it feels good. Really. Good. To. Yell. And then immediately afterwards the dialogue in my head starts in: "How do you expect God to forgive you? You are never, ever going to get a handle on this. You blow it all the time. What kind of wounds are you inflicting on your kids?" Even after I confess and repent, this nagging little voice in my head keeps chirping cheerfully that I am a big, fat loser. I know, and have written on my heart, that my sins are forgiven. They are on the ocean floor, as far as the East is from the West. At least I thought I had it written on my heart. But sometimes getting that concept 18" from head to heart is an insurmountable task. It's not possible. Not under my own power, anyway.
And then, yesterday I got to spend most of my afternoon with a little boy. My kids just aren't little anymore. I realized how much I love being around little kids. Not that I want another (or grandkids right now, thank you very much!), but the time invested in him yesterday warmed my heart and taught me something. He fell down, spilled his juice and just got up and went on his way. He missed the mark. And when he did, my first thought wasn't annoyance. I wasn't perturbed at him. Rather, I was concerned for him. Was he ok? Did he need a hug? Was there something in his way that was unavoidable that cause him to take a tumble? OK. So he's fine. He shouldn't have been chasing the cat, and running with juice in his hand, but it's ok. He helped me clean it up and we got on with our afternoon. It dawned on my that my Heavenly Father probably feels this way when I fall down too. He's not up there scheming and just waiting for the next klutzy trip so he can punish me. He's there to cheer me on, help me wipe up the spills from my less than wise choices. Yes, I believe He can be disappointed in me. But more than that, He wants me to make sure that I clear my path and watch what I'm doing so I don't fall down. But when I do, and I know I will, He'll wipes my tears and help me discover where I went wrong. And next time, I'll not chase the cat with an open cup.

3 comments:

cajunquilter said...

What a great reminder of how God sees our "miss the mark" moments.

Linda said...

Maybe I said this here before, but I think God set up the whole parenting thing just so we could understand his love better.

Linda said...

Um, don't you want to introduce someone???