I spent election day with my granddaughter and grandson. We had errands to run in the morning, and so I thought it a good idea to have a gift for each of them at home for our return – if the two of them behaved.
It worked! The two kids were very well-behaved and were very excited upon returning home to find a doll for the girl and a ninja turtle for the boy. I was very proud of myself! The kids immediately became involved with playing with their gifts and I began working on a gumbo.
It was nice to spend the day with my grandchildren. The day was going extremely well until we took the dog, Oscar, out in the back yard. My grandson decided to take his ninja turtle outside and began throwing the turtle around. Our back yard is not very big. There is a barbed wire fence at the very back of the yard separating my yard from a pasture. Having the big field behind us gives the illusion that the yard is very big indeed. After my grandson threw the turtle a couple of times, inching his way to the fence, I warned him to stop throwing the toy because it could end up over the fence.
Well, that was a mistake! My grandson heard these words, looked back at me, took a big step forward and flung the toy over the fence! He turned back towards me, and my face must have said it all! His eyes got really big and he yelled at me to not worry; he would go over the fence and get his toy. I immediately yelled back at him that his toy was not on my property and he was not allowed to go over the fence. And so the battle began.
He was not happy. He had trouble controlling his emotions at that point. The stomping, yelling, and crying took control over him. I kept my cool and simply told him to get back inside. He began jumping and yelling. I began counting with my fingers – did not have to say another word – and he stomped right back into the house sniffling and carrying on. I had to sit him in the hallway and told him he needed to calm down.
As soon as he quieted down, I sneaked out of the house and was able to just reach his ninja turtle. I rescued Raphael from the neighbors and went have a sit down with my grandson.
Before I returned the toy, my grandson and I talked about LISTENING. When I asked him what it meant to listen, he replied that one should listen to their moms, dads, grams, and pops. I explained that he was a child and he should always listen to the grown up in charge. I then asked him what happens when we don’t listen. He shrugged. I told him, “BAD THINGS HAPPEN”! He wiped his face and agreed with me. He promised to try to listen. He apologized and I gave him back the trouble causing “behavior gift” along with a kiss and a hug.
As children we are tasked with listening to our parents and grandparents, teachers, etc. As adults we are tasked with listening to our Father in Heaven. I am sure that when we don’t listen and BAD THINGS HAPPEN…God must shake His head! Like any good parent, He must watch and say softly, “If only you had LISTENED!”.
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” Hebrews 4:7
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119
It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
The world tells us it is not necessary to listen to God. The world tells us that we make our own rules and can do what makes us happy. But our Father knows what is best for us and knows the way to our true happiness….Will we listen or end up on the wrong side of the fence?