The other week I was weighted by relatively moderate stresses--
- looming writing deadlines
- work and volunteer obligations
- the fear of speaking on two radio shows hosted by women I admire
- and not completing my 31-day Parenting series in 31 consecutive days.
In the midst of my writing a piece some might deem as controversial or questionable, my youngest asked me if I would quiz him.
"Stephen...!" I snarled, with That Voice my children know too well, the one where they don't have to look at my face to see my exasperated and inconvenienced expression, the tone I never use with anyone to whom I didn't give birth.
"You KNOW how important it is to choose your timing well when you need something from me, and can't you see I am TRYING to finish this post, and..." before I could go on with my rant, he looked back to his book, resigned, knowing that I was right and he was wrong because he hadn't first considered the timing of his interruption, sincerely agreeing, "I know I know I know...."
It was obvious he DID feel bad for interrupting me and not choosing a "better" time, but there was something in his complicity that made me stop to consider the importance of what I was doing versus what he had asked of me. I decided to muzzle my bark, table my writing for a few minutes, and quiz him on his material.
I closed my laptop as he handed me his...Bible.
His m a t e r i a l ....
Really, God? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
He wasn't studying for a test; in fact, it wasn't even for school.
Philippians 2. All 30 verses. He had memorized the passage for his Life Group.
All he wanted me to do was listen.
And really, beyond "quizzing" him, he wanted me to share in his accomplishment, to be proud of him. In essence to show off, BUT WHAT BETTER THING TO SHOW OFF?!
When he got to verse three, it became quite clear God has a ~
- great sense of humor...
- a delight in irony...
- perfect timing
- a delight in irony...
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
And when he was done and ready to be-bop to the next thing, when I was sure he no longer needed my undivided attention, I opened my laptop and finished my post where I tell you how to be a better parent.
Irony not wasted.