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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Are you listening?!
Date Posted: July 10, 2004

The other day my twenty-month-old son climbed on the couch and began running back and forth, a stunt he often tries to get away with. I told him, "No. Get down before you fall." But he grinned and kept running, and before I was able to remove him from the situation, he bounced off and fell to the floor. His ego was much more bruised than he was, and as I said, this was not his first experience with bouncing off furniture.

I picked him up and tried to explain again in toddler terms that jumping on the couch is not a smart thing to do. Before I was finished talking he was trying to go at it again.

It made me think about how I don't always listen to God. Sometimes I'm in a situation I know could turn out badly and I feel the Spirit prompting me to act in a certain way. But I've already made my decision to do things my way. Then even when I fall on my face, I may go the wrong direction again because I'm sure I can find a better way to accomplish what I want.

God must be the most frustrated parent ever! We think having one child who is particularly strong-willed, or even several who won't listen to us as we try to sneak past the toy aisles at Wal-Mart is extremely embarrassing, and makes us feel like a failure.

Think how many of us at any given moment are ignoring God's nudge toward wisdom or even screaming in rebellion for everyone to hear.

Proverbs 1:5 tells us, "let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance."

James also has important words on this subject. In he says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." He follows in verse 22 with, "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Perhaps that is where we can learn from our children. Have you even had one of your kids look up at you wide-eyes as you carefully explain something, then watched them turn around and do the complete opposite?

How often do we do that to God? By being better children to our Heavenly Father, we will surely learn to be better parents.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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