On this particular summer’s day, my second born son, Levi, was not happy at all. I had just finished dropping off his older brother at VBS, and he kept yelling, “Turn around, Mamma! Turn around!” He did not want to be without his older brother.
I decided that this small separation (3 hours) would be good for both kids, so I went on with my day like usual. I never realized how crazy those few hours would be without my oldest child!
My son did not know how to behave without his brother. He was like a little ship without a map. Even though Levi has a lot of energy, I’ve never had too many discipline problems with him. He always seems to toe the line pretty well. I never realized that the reason for this was that he has an older brother to direct him. With out his brother, Levi was lost!
I took Levi to the store, but he would not listen to me. He ran around like a spastic chicken! One of the store attendants even had to tell him to climb down from the shelving. I was trying to look at curtains, and the little stinker was up on a shelf in 10 seconds flat. Half the time spent at the store was looking for Levi and the other half was spent running after him. It was exhausting, especially with a 5 month old baby girl strapped into a Bjorn on my chest!
When I finally got both kids into the car, I sat in the driver’s seat for a moment to cool down. “What the heck was that all about, God?” I thought.
I felt God urging me to see something, so I tried to focus on the experience. Then I remembered a friend talking about how she wished her husband was the spiritual leader of the home instead of her. I remember thinking during that conversation that my friend was so aggressive about her beliefs that it would be hard for anyone to lead her.
Then I felt God say, “Sometimes you must get out of the way!”
Many times we want our husbands, kids, siblings, parents, friends, etc. to be spiritual leaders, but they don’t because they are so used to us directing them. Why should they hone their spiritual leadership skills when they know we’ll just do everything for them? Sometimes the best thing we can do for the ones we love is Get Out the Way!
And, yes, they may flounder a bit, just like my son, Levi, did at the store; but eventually they’ll get it. Many times we are not patient with the ones we love. We don’t allow them to make mistakes, and we eventually pull the reigns back from them. But we can’t do that! We must allow them to find their stride, just like we had to find ours!
So who do you need to Get Out the Way for in your life? Pray for God to help you, especially if you are a perfectionist, type-A personality. God will help you empower those around you to be the spiritual leaders they were designed to be. Don’t hinder them by doing it all for them. Be hopeful that God is a better leader and teacher than you!
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5.5).