She knew what she was supposed to do. She’d even practiced two days before.

She was supposed to throw the petals.

But as my granddaughter Isley walked down the aisle ahead of the bride, she held on to her basket of petals as if they were the most important possession she owned. There would be no scattering that day.

We had figured the third time was the charm.  In her two-and-a-half-year life span, she’s been a flower girl three times. I won’t attest to the wisdom of this, but it is a fact. (There’s a reason brides often don’t want cute toddlers being flower girls. The tendency to steal a bit of the limelight is huge.)

Not only did she not throw petals. When she got to the front, she knew none of the bride’s or groom’s attendants–but she knew who was officiating. Her dad stood there, smiling and watching my new daughter-in-law come down the aisle.

Isley only saw a safe place.

She climbed onto the platform, clutching her basket of petals, and began a carefree celebration dance, right behind her dad–new dress, big girl cowboy boots, basket of petals and all.

She grabbed that limelight with both hands.

What was fascinating was Isley’s response the next day. When she woke up the next morning, she had to talk to her mom.

“I forgot to throw the petals.”

Anyone watching the wedding would have gathered that there was no forgetting involved. The iron-fisted grip on the basket, no move towards any petals, would have been the giveaway.

But she knew what she was supposed to do. And at some level, she really wanted to do that.

But she chose not to.

I have my own basket of petals.

There are so many times I know the right thing to do, but I choose not to do it. Not to be ornery or difficult. I just want things my way. Even in the midst of making that choice, I feel the nigglings of guilt.

The times I avoid answering a phone call because I don’t really feel like talking.

The times I cut corners doing something because I don’t have time or don’t see its value. Really, will anyone notice?

The little white lies I tell to avoid embarrassment or to get myself out of hot water.

Those are the little things.

“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway….I have discovered this principle of life–that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”  Romans 7:19, 21

This was Paul’s dilemma. A desire to do what was right. An inner drive to make really bad choices. Nothing new under the sun.

But we’ve not been left there.

“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 7:24-25a

I may be prone to poor choices, but Jesus covers all that with His forgiveness and grace.

Even if I don’t throw my petals.

5 responses »

  1. Mary Meyer says:

    Dayle, you always hit the nail on the head! And, being a grandma too, I can relate to the grandchild analogies wholeheartedly. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Grace4mE says:

    Oh Dayle, I’ve got my own basket of petals too; I see really why you find the principles from the Word, you do! Thank you for making HIM real and practical as well!

    Even the girls with their rings for Jillian – it brings about the all important/key to a vital relationship with Christ – you can INDEED pick your family! [And Dayle and John – this Isley I’ve got to meet – she must be a rip!] Blessings/Love/Hugs

  3. Lilian says:

    This is a great illustration to that truth. Love your use of words that paints a great picture:)

  4. alice fredricks says:

    Love it, Dayle. You are SO right! Praise God He loves me anyway!

  5. Gordana says:

    What a great analogy, Dayle! So cute and precious and easily forgivable when it’s an adorable little girl in a fancy dress and cowboy boots… I am prone to think, not so cute and adorable when we do it… and then I wonder if it could be that there are still little girls and little boys hidden inside these adult bodies, waiting to be validated and embraced, so they can un-clutch those tight little fists and live generously and freely…?

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