Friday, 19 September 2014

Love is Patient

    One Saturday afternoon while I was studying at the kitchen table, my 4-year-old daughter was at the other end decorating cookies she and her mother had made earlier that day. I found it difficult to concentrate as sugar sprinkles scattered across the table and dropped to the floor, not to mention the icing that covered little hands and clothes more than the cookies themselves. I must admit that the mere distraction was not as much of a bother as the prospect of having to clean up the mounting disaster, so I started interjecting comments like, "Be careful," "That’s too much," "Don’t make a mess!" It didn’t take long for my "helpful advice" to turn into outright fussing, and my daughter could sense that I was becoming increasingly more agitated. So the junior decorator paused for a moment, looked at me with her child-like innocence, and calmly declared, "Daddy, I’m a little kid you know."
     My irritable countenance quickly turned to a grin, and it dawned on me that I had been making way too much out of nothing and unrealistically expecting her to act like someone well beyond her years. Instead of getting frustrated, I could have stopped what I was doing and offered some assistance. Better yet, I could have sat back and taken joy in watching my child show initiative and develop her creativity and independence. Rather than being critical, I should have been thankful that we at least have a table, a floor, and excess sugar sprinkles with which a mess could be made!
     My wife and I have been blessed with two healthy, intuitive girls who are willing to try new things despite the less-than-perfect ways they may go about it sometimes. My daughters won’t be little forever, and one day, when they have grown up and left home, I will almost certainly miss their childhood antics.
     I realize there are couples who can’t have kids, who would love to have a precious child like mine, irrespective of the occasional disarray. Some parents have tragically lost young ones through accident or illness, and others, with physically- or mentally-impaired children, would give almost anything to watch their sons or daughters decorate cookies and make the biggest mess in the world.
     I felt guilty for taking so much for granted, for not being as appreciative as I should, and especially for not being as patient as the Lord expects me to be (Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4; etc.). I gave my daughter a big hug and told her how happy I am that she is my child. I gladly helped clean up the mess, and with the Lord’s forbearance I am trying to practice the lesson of patience that was imbedded in my conscience that Saturday afternoon.
     Thank you Lord for our children, who continue to draw us closer to you.
–Kevin L. Moore

*Inspired by my youngest daughter Kaitlyn.

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Our kids so often remind us of what matters most. Thanks Kevin.