I am watching my youngest grandson for most of this week. Normally he is a sweet, darling little boy but right now he is dealing with the tail end of a cold and in my personal opinion some allergies. All this makes my sweet little grandson channel his inner mule. I always knew most members of my family were a tad (read that A LOT) stubborn but OH MY! This little one could sure teach a mule a thing or two about stubborn! So my time with him has been filled with challenges, a lot of no’s both his and mine. It has truly been a battle of the wills.
As I have been navigating the challenges he has thrown my way….and each one seems to revolve around me trying to get him to do what is best for him as he is not feeling well. Just as he has been adamant about doing what is not best for him even though he is not feeling well…I began to think about how we adamantly cling to doing what is not best for us throughout life. How we know what we should do but continue to do what we shouldn’t do for a variety of reasons. Which reminds me about what Paul said in his letter to the Romans 7:15 – 20 which begins with: “I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate….” We basically wrestle with God trying to get God to see things our way and God stands adamantly firm in what God believes is best for each one of us. A lot like the wrestling my grandson and I have been doing! And of course what is best for us is different for each one of us since we are all different. So when things don’t go our way, or we run into a road block…we throw our own version of a temper tantrum and try to do what in truth doesn’t and won’t work in our life until we finally wear ourselves out.
After much wrangling with my grandson, he finally and willingly laid down and fell promptly asleep, exactly what he needed. So it is with us. When we are finally spent and totally exhausted from wrestling we are able to lay down quietly and it is in that moment…we can hear God in the silence ask: Are you ready to try it my way for a change? Well, maybe God doesn’t say exactly that. What we do hear is God gently calling us back into relationship with God where we can be refreshed and begin all over from where ever we are.
When we finally stop trying to do it our way, when we finally let go of what we are adamantly holding onto, we are able to receive the blessings God has been ready and waiting to give us. We have to give up our selfish wants and desires which in all honestly are usually not in our best interests in the first place. Maybe it is the same reason why chocolate tastes so good and beets taste like dirt. We want what looks good on the outside but hurt’s us on the inside. And just to be clear, while I may give up chocolate, I still won’t eat beets.
I guess the question becomes where are we stubbornly doing things we know are not good for us? Isn’t it time to let go?