“MOM! It’s not fair!”
Oh, how I love that statement! It immediately transforms me from a patient, loving parent into a sophisticated, hot-tempered prosecutor whose only goal is to get my kid to repent and admit how lucky he is. However, this day I didn’t transform into an attorney; I sighed, breathed deep, and asked Holy Spirit to temper my tone.
“Babe,” I responded, “What is not fair?”
“My friend gets to eat whatever he wants and play video games all the time. I always have to ask for my snacks and you only let me play electronics sometimes. And he gets to play all kinds of games that you don’t let me play and he gets to watch TV in the mornings and his mom packs him juice in his lunch!”
I continued to listen while asking Holy Spirit for some help. This is my middle child who is currently in second grade and can be a bit dramatic at times. He feels everything deeply and is led by his heart. He has a call to pursue justice in his life, when things aren’t fair it really ticks his little eight-year-old self off!
I proceeded to tell my son, “Babe, I remember dreaming about you when you were in my tummy. Holy Spirit and I would talk about you, your gifts and destiny. He told me that one day you are going to travel to many different places and you are going to stick up for people and make sure that people who are voiceless and defenseless are protected. Holy Spirit told me since your destiny is so great you need to be strong and healthy. As you grew up I knew I needed to help teach you how to take care of yourself so you can do all the things that God has placed in your heart. Does that make sense?”
“Yeah,” came a sulking reply.
Since he was unimpressed, I continued, “Holy Spirit told me that He was going to form you with gifts and potential that will be used to help you in your passions and purpose in your life. He told me you were going to be smart and strategic and that it was my job to help teach you how to use your brain. As you have grown up I have seen the deposit of those gifts inside of you and I have been praying for your destiny and your purpose. Do you think that if you ate whatever you wanted you would grow up to be strong and healthy?”
“No,” he replied quickly.
“Do you think if you played video games all the time you would be using your brain well?”
“Yes, I have to solve problems and that makes me smart.” (I told you this kid is something else)!
“You’re right, it does take some brain power to solve problems and advance levels in your games. But are you stewarding your brain if you are numbing out to video games and TV shows all day?”
“I made a promise to the Holy Spirit when you were in my tummy to help you reach your destiny. I don’t know what your friend’s mom promised the Lord, I only know what I promised and I am keeping my word. Since it is my job to help teach you how to use your brain, I cannot let you play video games every time you want to. Since it is my job to help you grow up strong and healthy I can not let you eat sugar every day and junk food whenever you want. You have greatness placed inside of you. I know you are disappointed right now but I’d rather you be disappointed now and even mad at me, than not be able to reach your destiny and be disappointed in yourself. You are a gift to this world. Just like Moses was raised up to help save his people, the Israelites, you are being raised up to help lead and defend your people. Doesn’t that sound better than a video game?”
Disappointment tries to rob us of our joy. If you replace disappointment with a vision of the future, you can overcome it. If I shield my kids from experiencing disappointments by always letting them win at games, or make life too easy for them, or clean up their messes, I rob them of a needed learning process of how to handle and overcome disappointment.
I can be overcome by disappointment or choose to overcome it! Taking the time to nurture my son through this process is needed for him to choose to overcome his current situation and have a vision for his own life. I know he is small but he has had opportunities where he helped other people and he knows that he feels good when he loves others well. That “feel good” that he has experienced is more powerful than the “feel good” that comes from tasting sugar or watching a cartoon. I can teach him to manage his destiny and actually take ownership of it, by shifting his focus from what he doesn’t get to have right now, to all that he will be able to have in the future.
My son is smart; he was able to connect the dots and change his attitude. He left my arms skipping instead of whining. I am positive he is still going to ask for sugar and shows but now I can remind him of what is waiting on the other side of my no!
How about you? Are you entertaining disappointment because you are stuck in a “no” without a vision of what is to come? Surrender your disappointment. It may just be keeping you from your destiny!
Redefined by Grace,