“Mom, how many days until Sunday?” “Five.” “That means it’s six until Monday. Then Dad can play Mario and save the Princess!” Breath. Thought. “Christopher, you know one of the reasons we took away the wii was because you boys kept fighting over it, but we also took it away because it’s all you think about. You are letting thoughts of the wii take the place of everything else. So, we have taken it away until you can live without it. We want you to think on ways to show God’s love to others, to be kind, to share, to serve…that’s what God wants for you too.” So went a conversation with Christopher on the way home in the dark last night.
God has been working on my heart as we have been “working” on our children. We bought this gift because we knew they enjoyed it and we wanted that for them. Four hundred dollars later I hear from the kitchen loud screams, harsh words, whines, and so on. Every morning til night I hear about the next time they get to play. So, we have put the wii in “time out”. Each day they ask…each day I say no. And God reminds…
He has given many things I have requested of Him, and I have been thankful and enjoyed them! And enjoyed them and thought about them and become consumed by the thing and left the worship of my Master – the Giver – at the created thing’s feet. I have sought “it” more than Him; I have devoured “it” more than His Truth; I have lived in “it” more than His love…and He has taken it away. He brought this to mind over and over again as I had to over and over again tell the boys ‘no’.
“God blesses those who are poor (in spirit) and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (Matthew 5:3 NLT)
The word “poor” in the Greek means “having nothing at all” and “spirit” means “the element in man by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires…the inward man…” So to realize your great need in your thoughts, feelings, and longings – dreams, will lead you to the ultimate blessing…fulfilling…gift – The Kingdom of Heaven. You know, the thing we are to “seek ye first” so that all else will be added. God will be God, and if He has to strip away so that we remember, He will. Just as I see the lack of value in a video game and the great value in relationships and learning to honor God with words and actions, so He sees the “lack” in the things that I have been consumed with and the great value that awaits me if I have all stripped away so I can once again see Him. The simplicity of the life He wants us to live here is because He knows that is how we will see Him more. He knows our frames, “we are but dirt”. He knows, like dirt, we are easily moved, influenced by the “wind”, and overcome by our circumstances. (Yet, He is the Potter Who can turn dirt into clay and mold us into more than we could ever dream or imagine.) We are constantly looking to be filled with what we can see, touch, feel, and we always come up empty in the temporary. The lasting, True filling comes from recognizing our emptiness and making it a gift to God…giving Him every part. In return for our open, empty selves, He fills to overflowing.
I hope I remember these lessons. They are much easier to write and apply to my children than they are to live out. May I be the example that will spur my children onto a life that is simply lived and extravagantly blessed in Him!
~…whispers of shama…Hear…the LORD your God is ONE!…He will be outdone by no one…no thing!~