When I was a little boy, my mother would regularly tell my brother Caleb and me to go outside and play. We were happy to oblige for a half hour or so, but then we would get hot and bored and decide to go back inside. However, when we came back to the house, we would often discover she had locked us out.
“Let us in, Mom!” we would say, knocking on the door.
She would walk up to the glass window pane of the door and say, “Okay, you can come back in, but if you do, you have to clean your rooms.”
Caleb and I would look at each other and decide that the Mississippi summer heat was better than cleaning – and if we wanted water, we could always drink from the hose.
It’s kind of funny looking back on it now, but I’m not going to lie — at the time, Mom seemed kind of mean.
This morning, my wife needed to talk on the phone, and I had work to do, so I told my daughters to go play in the yard. I guess I wouldn’t have minded them being inside, but they’re just so loud. They can be demanding; and they go around making little messes everywhere. Don’t worry – I didn’t shut the door and lock it (they’re not old enough for that – yet), but I remembered, in a whole new light, the days when Mom used to do it.
Mom, wherever you are reading this, I apologize for judging you when I was a kid. I completely understand now. You needed to clean the house without a couple of boys running around getting the floor dirty. You needed to make a phone call. You didn’t want us turning on the Nintendo and fighting over it with each other. And whether you realized it or not, you were teaching me how to grow up and understand God a little better.
As an adult, my life is littered with inconveniences that are orchestrated by my Heavenly Father — the irritating person who won’t go away. The job I didn’t get. The wife who won’t pretend I’m perfect and ignore the many ways I need to grow.
I walk up to the door of Heaven and plead, “Jesus, please change these circumstances!” And mean old Jesus comes to the door, looks me in the eye, and says, “Sorry kiddo, I’m doing something more important than making life more comfortable for you right now. I love you. Bye!”
Jesus, I’m sorry for judging you just like I did when, as a child, I misunderstood my mom. Quite frankly, I don’t really understand what You’re doing a lot of the time, but I’m going to choose to believe that whatever it is, it will work out for my good (Romans 8:28).