On my last visit with my little buddies, God revealed several lessons to me--as He always does through the children in my life! This one is especially poignant, I think.
Last year - either for Christmas or for a birthday, I gave the boys two DVD's. One was of trucks-neither of them is spectacular, I don't think, but I bought them on-line and they like them - well one of the twins LOVES them! He's a truck fanatic--loves anything truck-related. Another thing the twins love is watching videos with Mary:-) Part of our new routine when I babysit is to watch all the videos we used to watch every day when I was their nanny.
Now that I only see the children every few weeks, our times together are especially precious - to them and to me. It had been at least 6 weeks since my last visit and in that time mom and dad got a new remote control because they changed cable service. Those who know me well already know where this is going. You see, while I can figure out quite a bit about blogging, HTML code, and on-line "anything" I am like a complete idiot when it comes to all things electronic. If you can't just push the "on" button and have everything work as it's supposed to, I'm lost.
Well, after dinner was eaten, hands and faces washed and puzzles worked on the floor together, the children decided they wanted to watch some movies. Of course the "truck twin" immediately announced he wanted to watch the truck movie. We got it out and placed it in the DVD player and then . . . yikes . . . I don't even know what button to push next . . . this new remote is similar to the other one, but even pushing the buttons labeled like those on the old remote, in what I thought was the same order, I could not for the life of me get the thing to play on the television.
After about 10 minutes, big sister offered, "Here, just give it to me and I'll push all the buttons." No thank you, sister! I can mess up the remote and/or electronics all by myself! LOL! Both boys "worked on" the DVD player. One brother pressed open/close and the other brother took out the DVD, replaced it in to the player and pressed the button again. Then they tried the "play" button several times. (I was quite impressed with their teamwork, but had visions of what that might look like when their 12 and want to do something they're not supposed to do:-) All the while, I'm suggesting they stop pushing buttons so I could try to see if any of the combinations I'm using to unlock the secret code to play the DVD is working.
After about 10 more minutes, I gave up and announced that the remote was "broken" and that I would figure out how to work it so we would have to watch the movie next time. But truck-twin was not to be deterred. He took out the DVD and brought it to me, "see Mary, it's this one," and "It works, I put it in." This went on for about 30 minutes - and I counted how many times a little boy, determined to watch a truck DVD with Mary can actually press the open/close button, take out the disk and put it back in - I told his mom, I was pretty sure it was about 75-80 times!
You know, I didn't get upset with my little buddy though, and I let him continue to push those buttons and work on the problem. He didn't want to hear that something so important to him was just not going to happen this time. He didn't understand that it wasn't about what he wanted -- or even what I wanted. It was about the circumstances in which we found ourselves.
I thought about how much like my little truck-loving twin I am when I take my requests to God sometimes. Even after it is abundantly clear to me that a plan I had made or a path I had chosen is not going to work out, I just keep at it. Sometimes, as sister suggested, I just "push all the buttons" in a last ditch effort to get my way. Sometimes, like my little buddy, I don't get mad or even rail at God--I just keep . . . doing . . . what . . . I . . . was . . . doing . . .
In the end my buddy resolved himself to not being able to watch the movie and we found an acceptable alternative program on television (thank goodness for cable television!) But the lesson of that night is not lost on me. Since that night, I've been praying a lot about some things that aren't really working the way I would like them to. I'm asking God to show me whether I am to persevere and keep at it, or whether I need to turn these situations over to him and allow Him to show me a better way.
"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV).