Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Of Sprinklers and When God Says: "NO"

I am 23 months younger than my big sister, and I have lots and lots of memories of things we did together as  children.  One of the earliest memories (I am guessing I was between 2-4) was when both Elisabeth and I looked outside and saw a brilliant sun.  Our conversation went something like this:
girls: "Mommy can we go outside and run through the sprinkler - we already have our swimsuits on!"

mom: "It's really cold outside, so you should probably wait until summer"  (I think it was something like March - in Seattle)

girls: "It can't be cold because we can see the sun!"

mom: "well sometimes you can see the sun and it isn't close enough to be hot outside"

girls: "PLEEEEEASE!  We really want to run through the sprinkler!!!"

mom: "ok. go for it".

So two little girls went running out of the screen door to run through the sprinkler on that sunny day.  I remember so clearly the minute we stepped outside we were shocked by how cold it was!  I think we may have tried to be brave for a couple moments and stood on the patio thinking about our next move - shivering our little behinds off with the spring chill in the air.  Finally, we went back to the door and announced that we decided it was too cold.

I don't remember what Mama said to us after that - I doubt she said: "I told you so".  But it would have served us right.  She knew it was too cold and we would be miserable outside in our swimsuits.  She wasn't in fact trying to be cruel to tell us "no" originally - she was trying to help us make a wise decision that would save us being uncomfortable.  But we didn't care, because in our childish wisdom we definitely knew better.  I mean, how silly can you be Mom - we SEE the sun is shining!

I think sometimes we blame God for things we do in the stubbornness of our own "wisdom" - and then say that He is making us suffer.  In reality He has told us what to do - but we are just so much smarter and go our own way.  Or sometimes we get mad at Him telling us clearly: "NO" to something that we were excited about doing.  We think He's a mean parent - holding us back from the fun of running through the sprinkler. 

Oh, if only we knew. 

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