Friday, February 4, 2011

Cat Treats

My son is generally a happy boy. As long as his diaper is dry, his belly is full, and he's had his nap, he's pretty easy to please. However, when he gets his mind set on something, he won't easily back down until he gets what he wants. Stubborn doesn't even begin to describe him. He can throw a fit to rival any other toddler's, and he has no shame. He will throw a fit in the quietest of public settings without thinking twice.

The other day, he got hungry, and he opened the pantry to look for a snack. He found a bag of cat treats and decided that this was what he wanted. He handed me the cat treats and said, "Eat." I said, "Gianni, these are for the cats; these are not for little boys." He threw himself on the floor and kicked and screamed, "EAT! EAT!" I tried to reason with him. I showed him the picture of the cat on the package. I tried to give him cheese crackers instead. I offered him a banana. I offered him $100. He would have none of it. He wanted the cat treats. The only thing I could do to maintain the shred of sanity I have left was walk away and let him cry.

I got to thinking about how often I say, "Yes," "No," or "Not now," in any given day.

"Mommy, may I have some juice?"

"Mommy, can I drive the car?"

"Mommy, can we go to the park?"
"Not now."

And that's all before my first cup of coffee in the morning.

I answer the way I do based on what is best for my children and what works with our schedule. Some answers are easier than others. And I'm not always sure that I'm right.

God, the perfect Father, does the same with us. We ask Him things, convinced that this is really what we want, and He says, "No." To Him who sees the big picture, our question may seem as ludicrous as a child asking for cat treats, but to us, we are convinced that this is what is best for us.
We are convinced that we should have a certain job, a certain salary, a certain house, a certain number of kids, a certain spouse.
Sometimes God says, "No."
Sometimes God says, "Yes."
Sometimes God says, "Not now."
And in His case, Father always knows best. Although it is difficult for us to hear His answer sometimes, we must trust that he has our best interest at heart, for He is the perfect parent.

As a parent, my patience has a shelf life. After a certain number of questions, I snap. In contrast, God's patience with me is not an exhaustable resource. He listens to every prayer and is so patient with me as I continue asking for cat treats. Little do I know that He has a fine meal waiting for me instead.

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