Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion May 8, 2019

  • Greetings!
    When my children were in those growing up years, they were very active.  I pretty much let them choose and pick what activities they wanted to participate in - the only stipulation was that whatever they started, they had to complete whatever made up a cycle for that particular sport or organization or activity - a season or a semester or a year - it was all different!
    My thinking was that by trying a bunch of different activities they had the opportunity to really learn new things and to also learn what they liked and didn’t like.  That perhaps was the most valuable part of these experiences.   
    However the struggle to complete whatever it was they figured out they didn’t like was often a tremendous one.  There were lots of reminding them of the commitment they made and lots of remembering the deal I made with them about sticking through things and perhaps a threat or two thrown in…..  
    The interesting aspect was the unique way in which they would often try and get out of going to whatever it was they had decided they didn’t enjoy doing any more.  One daughter would ‘pretend’ to fall asleep right before we had to leave to go thinking I wouldn’t wake her up - and this was true in lots of cases since there is great peace and quiet within a household when a child is asleep and there is in most circumstances little reason to wake a quiet sleeping child up to disrupt peacefulness…….  But she did get become awake quickly when mom said it was time to go!
    Then there was the son who would refuse to change clothes - once he had his pajamas on when it was time to leave thinking, erroneously of course, that I would not make him go if he still had his pajamas on and now he didn’t have enough time to change…. fortunately he was still small enough to carry because a mother determined to teach the son to live out his commitments and promises picked the reluctant son up and carried him to the car to whence he went in his pajamas…….  
    Often there was the typical arguing, crying, stomping of feet and rolling of eyes that children are good at (in fact even now as almost middle age adults they can still exhibit some of these stalling tactics……) but that cut them little slack and even their soft hearted father knew better than to let their wily tricks work although he was much easier to fool than I was.  The old put a wash cloth under hot water and hold it to your face so you feel like you have a fever actually worked on him a few times…..
    Every now and then what these growing young ones realized is that the very things they thought they hated in the beginning and tried their best to avoid, turned out to be the very things they enjoyed the most……  Imagine that!  And sometimes the things they didn’t like stayed  things they didn’t like but they now they knew that and could check that off their list - and sometimes the things they did like turned out to be things they didn’t like the more they did them and sometimes these things became life long passions…
    But the point was you don’t know until you give it some time and effort and there is great personal growth in perseverance….. even reluctant perseverance where you have to go places with a hot face when really isn’t fevered, or a little sheepishly because you are in your pajamas, or a little angry because your determined mother knew you really weren’t asleep or that same mother who knew that your tummy really didn’t hurt…..
    Sometimes our relationships with God are the same way……we enjoy God for a while and then we get lazy or distracted or we don’t really think we are interested so we quit the things of God.  Maybe because we think God will always be there for us regardless of our participation level, maybe because this God stuff really isn’t for me, maybe because my impressions of God are a little skewed or don’t line up with my own preconceptions, or maybe because truly following God is a lot of work….
    But God is like a determined mother; God will continue to come after you and encourage you to get back in the fray with the other people in the congregations of almost all the churches who are struggling themselves to stay committed and stay focused and to persevere even when you and they are just not sure….
    God knows all your excuses and God knows all your avoidances and God knows that if you just take a deep breath and commit, and persevere though the difficult motivational times, you life of being part of the family of God will be worth the effort.