Sunday, April 6, 2008

Special Treat - Lesson Learned Series

Last Summer, I came face to face with how God must feel when He has something cool to show us or give us but wants to "toy" with us a little bit first so we'll really appreciate it when His timing is just right, has that ever happened to you?

Here's how it went down...

I wanted to take my kids out for a "special treat" (in our family a special treat can be anything from a dum dum lollipop to a full blown all expenses paid vacation to the zoo) so whenever I drop the "Hey kids you better be good or you're not going to get your special treat" card it usually gets their attention, and they stop pulling each others hair for at least a second to find out what it is.

So, I said to my kids, "hop in the van we're going for a special treat", to which they said "what is it?" and I said "it's a surprise, just get in the van, and stop picking your nose." So they got in the van and kept asking what it was and if we were there yet and all kinds of annoying questions that made me want to not follow through on the special treat because I wanted it to be a surprise.

Now mind you, I'm not God...but I wonder if that's how God feels sometimes when we don't appreciate the waiting period before the blessing.

Anyway, it got to the point where I started messing with their little minds by saying things like "hey kids see that tree over there with the bird perched on the branch? That's your special treat, take it all in, don't waste the visual beauty that is before you...enjoy" To which they would say "No it's not, what is it really?"
This went on for several minutes and included such fake special treats as orange construction cones, potholes in the road, a big rock on the side of the road, a kid walking with crutches (the crutches were the special treat) etc. etc. until finally we got to the special treat place which was the movie theater.
We went to watch the movie Ratatouille which of course is all about appreciating the great gift of food (special treat) and not settling for the garbage that everyone else settles for (great spiritual message there).

I did find it ironic though that I was watching a movie about a rat who is an amazing connoisseur of great edible delicacies and I was sitting there munching on something that takes 45 seconds to make in my microwave, and as a side dish I held 3 of the most teeth rotting, dentist loathing, diabetic monitor spiking, sugar filled items known to mankind...I almost made a suggestion to the manager that they should've offered filet mignon and seared scallops instead of my combination of skittles, juju bees and goobers...but after the last "demand" I wanted to make to him (after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 3 I didn't want my money back... I wanted my 3 hours back!) I thought I should keep my comments to myself and enjoy the special treat with my kids.

They were grateful that their special treat was actually fun and special, and it gave me a great opportunity to talk with them about how God has so many special treats prepared for us but we need to be patient and not settle for things that are less than His ideal for was a pretty cool conversation, but I'm not sure if they totally got it because a few days later as we were driving down Lake avenue right by a huge building that was recently imploded, I said "hey kids look at that huge pile of rubble" to which they both groaned in Unison..."Is that our special treat?"

Just something to think about...God has only what's best for us in mind, and He wants us to be patient and trust Him that He knows what He's doing.
Lesson Learned

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