I am dumbfounded. At a loss for words. Frustrated and relieved at the same time. All because of my son Tanner. Just when I think he doesn’t get it…can’t get it…won’t get it…just doesn’t care to even try and get it….something like this happens:
Background: For days now, Tanner’s been acting very selfish. Picking on his brothers and sisters, being lazy about doing stuff, or being the first to complain when someone breaks the rules, but “conveniently” leaving out how he contributed to whatever problem he’s grumbling about. He’s been spoken to, punished, lectured, educated and patiently corrected (most of the time). He apologizes and then before even a moment has passed he’s made the same foolish mistake again…for the four-hundred-bazillioneth time!!
Specifics: Moments ago, he was on the trampoline with his brothers and some neighbor kids. He decides he wants to wrestle with Champ – who doesn’t want to and says get off. Tanner doesn’t listen and after a bit, Chandler punches him. Tyler and one of the neighbors step in and pull Tanner off, but then actually encourage Chandler to get a good lick in on Tanner while they’re holding him. So everybody’s made mistakes. But Tanner comes in and tells Lora…”Chandler hit me and you said if he hit he’d get in trouble.” True, but not the whole story. Lora calls everyone in, gets the whole story and Tanner gets sent outside to pick up everything he can find and put it away.
Outcome (the part I’m amazed by): Tanner comes in after a little bit and tells Lora…”Mommy, thank you for disciplining me and helping me to be a better person. I really appreciate it” Now that’s something but here’s the kicker, he then adds….”I figured out a piece of the puzzle…Jesus dying for me would be like me dying for Chandler. I just want to be a better Christian.” Even as I’m typing this Lora just now comes and tells me that while Tanner (and Chandler) went back out to finish up cleaning the shed, she checked on him and it sounded like they were playing so she asks if they’re cleaning up and hears Tanner hushing Chandler who’s now trying to figure out what to say without lying. She then sees Tanner dressed in full roller blade garb and asks if he’s trying to decieve her and he says yes. But again, when Lora talks to him, Tanner is crushed saying he wants to obey but it’s hard. He also tells her…”it hurts when I disobey you.”
Thanks Tanner, for reminding me that following after Jesus is a tough, moment by moment decision at times and my patience with you is nothing compared to the patience God exercises with me when I repeatedly fall short of simply obeying him. I want to be a better Christian too buddy.