Several weeks ago my 4 year old came to me and said, “Mommy, I know of something that I really want to give away. Can I give something of mine to another kid?” Considering we have been modeling the act of giving since he was a baby but it had always been my idea... my mommy pride began to soar!
The smile on my face grew and grew and I said, “Of course sweetie. I am so proud of you for wanting to share your things with someone else!” I gave him a big hug and he seemed so pleased. I asked, “What is it that you want to give away?”
He asked me to come with him so he could show me. I got up and followed him into the entryway of the house. He pointed and looked up at me, “That.... I don't want that anymore, so I want to give it to another kid.”
Well, my pride sort of drained a bit when I saw what it was but I couldn't help but to keep a smile on my face since laughter escaped from me on instinct. The thing he wanted to give away was... his timeout chair. Sometimes he is way too smart for his own good.
I've been taking a timeout of my own lately and really thinking about my priorities. I have an opportunity to do something really great... something that could change the lives of many but it will be very time consuming if I take it on. I recognized almost immediately that if I decide to do it, there are several things in my life I will have no choice but to give up. I made my mental list of the things I'm willing to let go and it was no surprise that those things were mostly the things I don't “love” to do (sort of like Brett wanting to give his timeout chair away). I decided to be a little more careful about my decisions. I decided it was probably smarter to let God pick the things in my life that needed to be thinned out. Luckily, I have some time to figure this all out... cause my experience is that God doesn't always just answer me right when I want Him to (or perhaps I just don't allow myself to listen).
I wrote everything down, not taking anything for granted. As I looked at the list, I also thought about my spiritual gifts. I thought about the things I was naturally good at and honestly considered the things that perhaps I wasn't as good at. I also thought about what I think my God-given purpose it right now.
One of the items on my list is something I really love but I had to admit, there is a part of it that I'm just no good at because my spiritual gifts lead me in the total opposite direction. That was a difficult truth to swallow, but it clearly showed me that my energy probably shouldn't be devoted to that. I'm sad to say, I'm going to have to give that one up. On the other hand there is something that I'm really good at but absolutely dislike... I want terribly to give it up but the Spirit inside me seems to be telling me to keep that one on the list. Argh.
Well, I haven't figured too much of it out yet but I'm working at it. There will be many prayers and a lot of thought put into this priority list. I'm sure I won't get it completely right but I'm going to try really hard to let God guide me instead of just making the decisions based on what I want. Following my wants hasn't served me too well in the past. Following my wants has sort of made me act like a toddler who gave her timeout chair away.