I make compilation Christian CDs and play them while I drive. I love all Christian music, and I like to expose my kids to the wide selection we are blessed with today. My oldest son reads the track number of each song and memorizes what song goes with what number.
While I was driving yesterday, I really wanted to listen to track 2 (“Awakening” by Switchfoot), but my son kept insisting that we listen to his favorite. I asked him what his favorite was. He thought for a moment and said, “Number 12.” I didn’t believe him. I told him that he was making up a number just because he didn’t want to listen to what I wanted to listen to.
He kept yelling from the backseat to play track 12. I asked him to tell me what the song was about. He couldn’t explain it, and again I thought he was just making it up. (Sometimes I forget that my son is only five).
Once we got home, I skipped the CD to track 12 because I wanted to make a point to my son. I just knew it was one of the songs he didn’t prefer. When the song came on, I realized that he had picked my current favorite song, “One Trick Pony” by Mercy Me.
“You see, Mom! I wanted you to play your favorite song!” he said from the backseat.
I felt horrible. All along my son wanted me to play my favorite song. He knew that this song always cheered me up. I was totally missing the point. I was so consumed with what I wanted that I couldn’t see my own son trying to bless me.
I gave him a big hug and apologized, and I thanked him for being so sweet to me.
As I walked into the house, I asked God, “Why can’t I get it right?”
God has been teaching me a lot lately about His children. What I’ve realized is that my kids are not mine at all. I know people say it all the time, “They’re not really my kids. God just loaned them to me.” However, I never really understood the depth of that statement until recently.
God gave me an image of my son’s spirit next to mine in Heaven. I was no longer his mother. We were both simply souls in a vast horizon made up of God’s children. The important thing is not that I’m his earthly mother. The important thing is that God chose my son’s soul to be under my care for a season. God has allowed me to have a huge influence on another life.
God has made it abundantly clear that I will raise His child precisely as He says. I will be held accountable, and this is a job I do not take lightly. But with this realization came an intense weight of responsibility. I do not want to mess up.
But, as in the track 12 example, I do mess up. I started to feel anxious. How could I possibly raise God’s children perfectly? I’m an imperfect human. There is no way I’ll raise my kids according to God’s plan exactly. I daily make mistakes.
As I fretted over this, God gave me an image of the “Wii Circle.” If you don’t know what the Wii is, it’s a video game system. Along with this system, you can purchase a fitness program called Wii Fit.
I don’t own a Wii; but I went to a friend’s house for a game night, and she had one. I played one session of the Wii Fit. I had to stand on a platform that weighed me – in front of everyone! – and I began doing different strength training moves. On the TV screen was a dot that represented my performance. There was a circle around the dot. If I could keep my dot within the circle’s limits, I would have a near perfect score.
My dot wasn’t streamlined; in fact, it moved and wiggled a lot. Nevertheless, my dot stayed within the circle. As long as it stayed within the circle, my score was great!
When God showed me the image of the Wii Circle, I instantly felt relieved. Of course I would never be perfect. God knows that! He puts a circle of grace around me. Even though I mess up, I can still do an awesome job at raising my kids, at being a wife, a friend, a leader, etc. As long as I stay within the confines of His grace, I can still make a near perfect score at this life.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4.16 NIV).