My youngest is a climber. If there is a thing that has a higher elevation than the current situation offers, she wants to climb it. This includes but is not limited to chairs, couches, ottomans, benches, stools, other children, people both smaller and larger than herself, boxes, toys, ladders, kitchen drawers, and the occasional garden gnome. If it’s there and taller than where her feet are presently planted, she’s going to scale it faster than Peter Parker learning how to be Spiderman. Sometimes, we let it happen because a kid should climb, it’s what they do. But every now and again there is a dangerous situation that she needs to be removed from. At which point, we take action, swooping in to save the day from impending doom.
One of the things we try to quickly remove her from is the box that her building blocks are kept in. It’s a flimsy plastic container that will probably implode if she ever put her full weight on it. The big kid has seen and heard us remove Piper from this and other boxes like it over and over again. She has seen it so frequently that when Piper climbs on such an object, Rilee will remove her from it if we’re not near by. All of that to say, Rilee knows that climbing on the boxes is a bad choice.
Sometime last week I was playing with the girls and Piper crawled over to the couch. Rilee was dancing around the living room and I decided to chase Piper a bit. As my back was turned it was time for Rilee’s big move. She ran across the living room, jumped up in the air, and landed on the aforementioned plastic container. As suspected, this caused it explode into tiny pieces and gave Rilee a pretty decent sized cut across her leg. Needless to say, there was a melt down that followed. Rilee was in tears because her leg was bleeding and I was furious because the box was broken, there were shards of Rubbermaid shrapnel scattered across the living room, and chaos was quickly building.
Why did she do that? Hadn’t she heard me tell Piper over and over again that this was a bad choice? Didn’t she know that the box wasn’t for climbing? Didn’t she trust her father when I said she would get hurt if she did it? It wasn’t until about a week later that it hit me. I do this all the time when it comes to my relationship with my Father. I regularly make decisions and do things that I know aren’t the wise choice or aren’t in my best interest.
The best news in all of this is that I’m not alone… WE are not alone. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:19, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway…” If the Apostle Paul had an issue with this, I think we’re in good company. So does this mean we’re destined to live a life of disappointing ourselves and falling victim to our sin nature? NO! Paul says in verse 24, “…Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Back to Rilee and the box. What happened next? After a few minutes of intense discussion about why she jumped on the box and why it was a bad decision, I put a band-aid on her cut, helped her clean up the mess, calmed down the younger kid (she’s a sympathetic crier), and explained to Rilee that when Mom and Dad make rules its not because we don’t want you to have fun. We give boundaries, guidelines, and rules because we want you to be safe while having fun. Within a few minutes, the dancing resumed; this time with a few less acrobatics.
Truly, I think that at the end of it all Rilee’s trust in her father was increased and she learned that I have her best interest at heart. She also (after a few minutes of intense fellowship) experienced grace and compassion. These are the things we can expect God to give us when we fail. When our sin nature wins the battle and we go to Him he will pick us up, dust us off, remind us of His love for us, and get us back in the game. So next time you get wounded by a bad decision, don’t let it go unattended. Seek out the care and love of your Heavenly Father, be healed of the brokenness, and get back in the game.