It's begun. We successfully navigated this journey with our own kids. But now, it's the twin grandsquirts that have become the obsession. How to persuade them that there is actual beauty in offloading waste product in a location other than a diaper? They will be three on 15 April--tax day. The date makes it easy to remember. And tax day is creeping up on us again, no?
And this is the second major assault on this hill. The first stalled out soon after it was announced, forced into retreat by parental expectations trumped completely by the total lack of interest within the target audience.
But this launch, with an early success, and the resulting bowl of celebratory ice cream, seems to have propelled the girls into a "I wanna do this" mode. And we all know from our management strategy books than transformational change is always given a boost when there's an early success in the story. Me? I'm pretty convinced dumb luck and fortuitous timing were far more at play than strategery, but we'll take success regardless of the root cause.
I shared some of this story in a recent message at The Surge, and it struck me that when the girls first arrived on the scene, as preemies, this messing in their pants thing was actually heralded as a relief. We were delighted to clean up the pooh in those early days because its arrival proved that the plumbing worked, and this was fantastic news. That was then. It's funny, no, how 2 years makes all the difference? Now, what was once cute has lost a good bit of its aura. It also struck me that if this second effort fails, we'll no doubt do a third and, if necessary, a fourth. And eventually, they'll get it. There may have to be some conversations, some training, some enticement, some encouragement, but they'll eventually get it. I know this because I have met many 15 year olds. None of them were wearing diapers.
So, we won't give up on them. We're not going to cast them out of the family because we know they'll get there. And while they are getting there, we'll still love 'em to pieces, no matter how long it takes. Our love for them isn't the result of their success delivering waste product into the proper receptacle. And because we love them, we'll endure the training regimen with them because we can see down the road. In one week, two weeks, a month, two months, they are going to grow out of this. We know it. We can see what they will grow into.
And it hit me. Maybe that's why God doesn't just crush me like a bug when I mess up, like I pretty much do every day. Maybe He was serious that my coming to Him through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection would mean that I was an adopted child of His. That somehow, I'm not longer an enemy, but a kid who is loved to pieces by this Creator of all things that called himself, tenderly, my dad. And that when he sees the mess in my pants, as it were, he's going to work on helping me get potty trained. Why? Because he already loves me. That love isn't there because I did the right thing, stopped making mistakes.
So, enveloped in that love, there may well be some false starts, some conversations, some training, some enticement, some encouragement. But he doesn't throw me out. Why? Well, like we do with our grandkids, he puts up with the immediate crazies because he is able to see down the road. He knows I'm going to grow out of it. He sees what I will become as his child, as I grow up.
I'm not sure the actual reality of living under the mercy and grace of God ever made as much sense to me as it has this week. I also know this. Like the twins, His love makes me "wanna do this," and it's a lot more fun than a bunch of rules.
You can check out the message this story was a part of on www.thesurge.cc. Click on Media, then Messages, and then the 5 February message.
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At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.