2014-08-24 - Clean Your Room
From the time my son was old enough to play with toys moving about his room (about age 3), the phrase "clean up" has been heard in the form of either spoken word or the dreaded Barney "clean up song". As a kid I, too, heard the phrase, but not the song (thankfully!!). Likely my son and I often must have felt the same hearing it - "why does it matter so much to her?" Well, it's not so much about a room, as it is being disciplined in general. The natural byproduct of being able to locate one's belongings is just a nice bonus. And I, too, like my own mother, must have wondered how many times it would be necessary to repeat the same phrases over again, before it became natural. We get as tired of saying them, as the kids get of hearing them, honestly. But one spectacular day, we look in their room as we pass by, and it happened, and we didn't even have to ask them. And our kid will perhaps even say something such as "it sure is easier keeping track of things when I put them away in the same place". To which we will think "finally, after eighteen years, they get it!!" For me, it was never about control, but discipline. Knowing there are so many things in this life that are out of our control, it helps to have a few less to frustrate us, if it can be avoided. When things go haywire, and I am running late, for example, but I can find my keys, then maybe the day has a better shot at getting back on track, instead of spiraling out of control.
And so it goes with God's discipline, as well. If we want to know what God intends for us, then we have to dive into his word and learn more about him, and how he handled situations and people right from the start. When we discipline ourselves to know him better, by going to him first and following his instructions, then will be better able to handle what life throws at us. He promises to be by our side, whenever we call on him. And we may not always understand what's happening at certain points, but later, it will likely make more sense. Much like eighteen years later, my hearing my son talk about how he now understands what used to seem like nagging, to get his things in some sort of order. And I would tell him to order it how it made sense to him, due to the fact he would have to know the whereabouts of his things. I held on, and he finally figured it out. We hold on, and we will soon have a better grasp of what God's plan was for us, all along.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.