The Shoe

Ever try to make headway with a 3-year old? Did I detect a grimace as the thought passed painfully through your head with a frustrating memory? Today, I had the pleasure/pain of such an event.

JR (I changed the name to protect the guilty) decided that one shoe made a stronger fashion statement than wearing both shoes. I told him, “You can’t come outside and play with me until you put both your shoes on.” My suggestion was then underscored by one of the Tias who had been suggesting the same thing, several times. JR continued to live life according to his own agenda totally ignoring the instructions that he had been given by the two of us. I turned my back on JR to have some fun with another child who was ready for attention. The next thing I hear, the Tia screams out a warning to me and a shoe goes flying by my head. The room is in an absolute silent standstill except for a giggling JR. It’s time for me to up my game.

I pick up the shoe/weapon-of-bonking and walk over to JR. He is still grinning from ear to ear and ready to play (in his mind). Instead of playing his game, I jump into the air and place his shoe on top of one of the ceiling fan blades. I then spin around and walk away to play with the other kids. I turn just enough to catch the reaction of JR. He is staring up at his shoe perched on the blade of the ceiling fan. His face is priceless! The Tia is trying not to laugh out loud. She is hiding her face behind the baby that she is holding and smothering her laughter with the baby’s back.

After only a few seconds, JR says, “That’s my shoe”. I continue to play with the other kids. The Tia is rocking with laughter. Tears are running down her face…the baby in her arms thinks it’s a new game. “That’s MY shoe!”, JR repeats. This time I reply, “Oh, would you like to obey and put your shoe on now?” I walk over to the fan, jump up and grab the shoe, and tell JR to sit down and put it on. He takes off. Tia repeats my instructions. JR, in great 3-year old fashion, makes a face at her. Once again, it’s time to up my game.

I pick up JR, take him to one of the baby highchairs and strap him in. Suddenly, reality hits him…he’s in a baby seat. I have his total attention. He is now ready to  follow instructions. The shoe gets on the foot almost magically. The Tia gets a kind, heartfelt apology for disrespect. The world continues to revolve.

I then let him know that I would be back later to play with him AFTER he had a chance to think about his obedience.

Here’s the lesson:

How many times have we responded like a 3-year old to God? How many times (please, don’t count…really, don’t count) has He had to take our shoe and put it up out of our reach? How many times has He taken great pains to get our attention and we ignore Him?

We all have had “shoes” in our lives. We have all wanted those shoes, our shoes, in our own way in spite of what God has instructed. Because of our wants we miss out on some of the play time that we would otherwise enjoy.

Lets make sure we have our shoes on right and are ready to play with God.

If the shoe fits …