Isley stood at the closet door, looking up and down the stack of games. She wanted to play, and she had something specific in mind. She pointed to Chutes and Ladders, a very well-played game missing the spinner, and had me drag it out. When I put it on the floor, she opened it and pitched pieces around, looking for who knows what.
“I no like this. It’s for kids.”
“But it’s your kind of game, honey. Want to give it a try? It’s really fun.”
“No. It’s for kids.”
She pushed it away with her foot and pointed to a geography game.
“I wanna play that.”
She’s two and a half.
All the explanation in the world was not going to get her to change her mind about what she thought she wanted to play. And I didn’t want to mess with getting out a game that had more pieces than China has rice and was for kids five times her age. So I tried to talk her out of it.
Logic with a two-and-a-half-year-old? Really?
Of course it didn’t work. But orneriness runs deep in my veins, and I wasn’t going to bend. I wasn’t going to take the time to get everything out only to put it back again. So I tried more words.
When a young child makes up her mind, words will not budge them. Logic is irrelevant. Kindness borders on the unnecessary. So I did what any sane adult would do.
I said, “No”, and walked away.
And I made her cry.
That’s not how I wanted it to work out. I’m Nana, and I want to make her happy. But I’m also tired and not in the mood to deal with unreasonableness. Which is what I knew this to be.
I felt the nudge of the Spirit and recognized me in that sad little face. How many hundreds of times have I asked God for things that He knows aren’t good for me or appropriate to where I am in life at the moment, and His response has been “No.” And I become despondent because it feels like He never answers my prayers. Not like I want Him to. And then I question whether I’ve done something wrong that would keep Him from answering as I’d like Him to. And then I become introspective, really looking at my life to see what the hangup could be. Or I pretend I don’t care and just move on with my life. It’s no big deal. I’ll get over it. Disappointment is part of life.
But it is a big deal. This isn’t disappointment with life–it’s disappointment in my relationship with God. Not that He has let me down, but I’ve missed the point yet again. I’ve sought the blessing rather than the Blesser. I’ve talked more than I’ve listened. All I wanted to see was my way, not His wisdom and love for me. And yet never once did He abandon me or stop loving me. He has poured His grace over me, even in my childish stubbornness.
I’m learning I really want to play it all His way.