In 1985, Laura Numeroff came out with her delightful children’s book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. About a mouse who begins with a cookie–and then leaps from there to desires that no one could have anticipated from a simple sweet.
I’ve heard this is a book on millennials and how they want more, feel entitled, expect to be given whatever pleases them.
Ease up on the millennials. This is all of us. We’re all the mouse.
I’m seeing it play out now just days before Debbie’s wedding. Last minute details that were forgotten. Makeup being practiced in the kitchen. Homework needing to be finished before the wedding. The grands all coming into town, filling the house with noise and poopy diapers. Small particulars that I’d have never thought twice about.
If there hadn’t been a wedding to plan.
Details are important. They’re the thread that ties everything together. Following through on the particulars she’d love to see happen shows love to my daughter.
I have been channeling my inner Numeroff mouse, however. One thing comes up–like getting my dress hemmed–and something else must take place because of that small detail. Such as looking at my sad feet and thinking I should get a pedicure. Folks will see those nasty nails on my feet, will wince at the callouses from wearing flip flops too much, and pity me because I didn’t give deference to my toes.
This is minutia gone manic. Who’s going to look at my toes? And if they do, they won’t care–or remember.
The mouse might.
Details have the ability to trip me up, especially if I don’t pay attention to them. Or they overwhelm me with their numbers.
Such particulars aren’t intended to be tripwires to set off fireworks in my soul. Their aim is to enrich the specifics, to improve what is.
They can’t make it perfect.
I still want it all to work out. For the pieces to fit perfectly together like a beautiful puzzle. No holes. No lost pieces.
I want my cookie. And I want to eat it, too.
I guess that makes me entitled.
Big events tend to shine the spotlight on what I don’t do well. The things I forget, don’t appreciate, or wish I didn’t have to do at all. For the wedding, I want it to work out exactly as Debbie and Taylor would like. All the pieces fitting together to make it the wonderful memory they’re anticipating.
It won’t happen that way.
Stuff will go wrong. Things will be forgotten. Some of their best memories will be the mistakes.
In life, things will not go the way I expect or desire. The brokenness of our world means disappointment will happen. Disappointment, not dealt with, devolves into frustration, anger and bitterness.
It’s why God is the only One who can provide a context for life that makes sense. In the midst of the unfairness of all that happens to us and around us, He alone is just and fair. He alone knows us well enough to provide what we really need,
The mouse can’t do that.