We sat, my son and I, across from each other at the table: dissatisfaction rolling like waves off of him; simmering anger rolling off of me.
I pondered the air of spoiled, ungrateful-entitlement he projected, trying to put a lid on the angry indictment I wanted to rain down upon him.
I knew it might relieve my feelings temporarily to verbally put him in his place...but I instinctively knew I would miss changing his heart.
So we sat. The son of my heart and I. Facing each other from two different places. He; self-absorbed, entitled, ungrateful and victim with a capital 'I'. Me: slapped in the face at his spoiled attitude, hurt by his ungratefulness, incredulous at his sullenness.
The conversation and attitude that preceded went something like this...
He: "I don't want to skateboard today, can't I go sit at the bookstore, read and get a hot chocolate instead?" Me: "no, skateboarding is p.e. and Teddy really looks forward to it, it would be boring by himself, you are his friend, you need to get out there." He: "did you bring us a snack?" [full accusation in tone, he knew I did not] He: "can we at least get donuts afterward?" He: "will you take us somewhere later?"
This was all with an air of accusation/dissatisfaction. Spoiled much???
I wanted to reach his heart, not teach him to hide his feelings.
I didn't know how to accomplish it. So we sat, at an impasse.
I still haven't come up with a magic answer. His father's was -more work-plenty of it, and throw out the wii. The wii is off limits except on Saturdays now and we are adding in more work.
This whole scene left me thinking about his/my/our relationship with God. This week in our devotional reading we read Isaiah 40:1-3 "...make clear the way of Jehovah; make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
Our hearts are not straight, they are full of crooked places, mountains, pits, weeds. Our hearts (both my sons and I) are crooked and rough in places. My job, as his parent, is to help him smooth out those rough patches and to help him make his heart a smooth highway for the Lord to pass through.
This verse ran through my mind. "For he knows we are but dust and that our days are few and brief" (Psalm 103:13-15).
Also, this verse had heavy weight with me; "He will feed his flock as a Shepherd; in His arm He will gather the lambs; in His bosom He will carry them. He will lead thoe who are nursing the young." Isaiah 40:11
Christ as the shepherd cares for his flock through his ruling and correcting. He is leading us on the right way, adjusting us as we need it- and His leading/correcting/adjusting is neither too fast or too slow, but it's at the pace of the flock He shepherds- this includes the pace of the lambs [the young] and those nursing the young. He gathers the very young, who cannot keep up, in His arms. What a beautiful reminder as a mother, given a flock to shepherd for Him- to keep to the pace of my young, and to gently lead them into straight places.
The shepherd is so gentle and gracious to me, over and over. How can I not be likewise?