What’s going on?…
It started with a look. I could tell she was processing something. She seemed a little worried, a bit fearful, and agitated. I decided we should try worshiping together (kids and me) and then see if we could do some spontaneous prayer-worship afterwards. It sounded great to me, but none of my kids went for it. As I sang on my own I noticed my daughter drawing ever more inwards focused. Soon she was crying and when our time of singing was done she ran up to her room and locked the door.
Oops. Did I go too far in requiring us all to worship together? Even though I was hoping this would be a moment where we’d all rally together through music, my expectation didn’t happen. What did happen was that the emotions being held down by ‘strength of will’ came to the surface. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I experience that all the time when I’m worshiping Jesus – Smiles and Tears. It was no different in my kids. The emotions of stress rose to the surface and now I had three kids with varying degrees of emotional stress needing me. Worship helped me and the kids finally be ready to talk about what worries they have had over the recent changes in our lives. So, it still turned out to be a helpful time, just different than I expected.
As I went upstairs to talk to my daughter, I hoped she’d open up and let me help her. PHEW! She opened the door to me and allowed me to hug her while she cried. Then she shared her worries. It was related to Coronavirus. Through tears she told me that she was afraid that her grandparents and our new (yet to be adopted) baby might get sick. She didn’t want them to get sick. She was worried for them and that caused her to have some pretty big stress hanging around her. I was so surprised at the depth of compassion she had! I didn’t know that was what was worrying her! I thought she’d be more worried about her own health. Not so.
Doing the Right Thing…
It was the answer that God gave me in the moment that stuck with me most. I could tell that my sweet, kind, and oh-so-responsible kid was taking on a load much too big for her. She was wanting to be sure that she was doing the right things to keep others from getting sick. The only problem was that she didn’t know what all those things were. And, as we’re all well aware, the guidelines were/are changing regularly. She felt a level of responsibility over this COVID-19 stuff.
At that moment, I told her that her only responsibility was to have fun and obey her parents. (Yes, I’m sure there are many other responsibilities, but that’s what was needed at that instant.) I then went on to explain that it’s my responsibility to keep track of the guidelines that the government is giving us. It’s my job to listen to the press conferences, check the news, and keep updated on other notifications. Then I would tell her what she needed to know. As long as she obeyed what I said, then she’d be doing the ‘right thing.’ That was her job – obey her parents.
Responsibility: Have Fun and Obey…
As I thought about this a bit more, it became apparent to me that this is a lesson for adults too. In the midst of a constantly changing atmosphere of rules and regulations, it’s our job to obey too. It’s not our responsibility to know all the ins and outs of what’s happening or even how to defeat this disease. We have lawmakers, government officials, and other well-educated-in-these-areas people to do that. If we as citizens listen and obey the guidelines set forth, then we’re fulfilling our responsibility. We can allow the governing officials to do the higher level work in this area.
Then, as usually happens, another area of realization came to mind. I was discussing all this with my sister-in-law when she sweetly pointed out that it’s also like this in our Christian walk. As God’s children, it’s our responsibility to obey God. We don’t have to know all of the information. We don’t have to plan or make perfect decisions. God is the one that has the ultimate vantage-point and information to help us as we go about fulfilling our purpose. He guides us to what’s best and it’s our responsibility to have fun and obey our Parent, God.
This is so true! When God asked me to start writing this blog, I thought I had heard wrong because surely God wouldn’t ask me to write a blog. That was nowhere near my desire or my experience. In fact, I had tried blogging before and stopped after just one post! But, I obeyed. And now, almost a year later, I can see the trail of good things that have come about because I obeyed – and I even had a little fun. 😉 God knew the bigger picture and I didn’t have to know it in order to obey.
So, what about you? How does this look in your life? I’d be so interested to hear a little story from you. When has God asked you to obey …and have fun?
P.S. My daughter gave me permission to share her story, although I doubt she’d want people to talk with her about it face to face. 🙂