“Daddy, I want some.”

15 08 2009

AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I’m sorry, I do speak before I think on occasion, although I do not recommend such a course of action and excoriate those who make a practice of it. What I meant to say was….

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

But I digress…

I have a two year old son. He is cute, sweet, good-natured – a lovely child by all normal standards. A precious gift of God to me. He – to this point anyway – is NOT channeling Damien, has refused the societal pressure to do the “terrible twos,” and is all-around a pretty sharp little creature. Aside from his obvious disregard for my personal space and need for privacy in the can (lavatory, for you sensitive types), I have only one complaint…

“I want some.”

Just typing those words raises my blood pressure well beyond my doctor’s recommendation. It is CONSTANT. It is “Waterboarding for Daddies.” Oh. My. Gosh. (I’m trying not to scream again, please bear with me).

It’s not that he’s really greedy, so much as it is that I am incredibly selfish. He’s not asking for stuff at stores or on TV commercials designed to make children they are entitled to all they see advertised. It’s just that no matter what I have in my hand to eat or drink, he wants some of it. Everything. ANYthing. Even now as I type this on a Saturday morning, he has crawled up next to me twice and asked for a sip of my coffee. My COFFEE. (Correction – now three times)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It’s mine! Do you hear me? It’s mine! My coffee! My sandwich! My chips! My Coke! Mine! MINE! MINE! To quote W.C. Fields, “Leave me alone, kid, you bother me.”

(Did I say that out loud?)

Anyway, I didn’t ask you hear today to hear me confession about my failings as a parent and a human being in general. That just arose spontaneously. I was actually going to be all spiritual and talk about how we’re like that with God. Want. Want. Want. Want. Want. Spoiled little children that think we’re entitled to everything that’s advertised.  I guess that’s probably true of us; I know it’s true of me.

The problem is that I don’t think that it’s true of my son. I think he actually gets it right. He’s not asking for outlandish and expensive toys (well, not yet – which is why I have to write this blog now). He’s simply asking to share in the things that his father is enjoying. For some reason, in spite of the obvious character flaws of this dad he loves, he loves his dad and wants to share in the things his dad loves. (And his dad DOES love his coffee).

I know, it sounds naive and stuff – the “my child can do no wrong” garbage that parents spit out all the time from the vile, ignorant chasms of their gullible, mindless fantasy world. I am aware that my child is seeking stuff for “self” to some degree, to have something he doesn’t in order to enhance his life or whatever a two-year tells himself is the benefit. The question is whether or not something can be recognized as a benefit to self and part of something greater. Does Scriptures offer as a reward for doing righteously mitigate against the true righteousness of that very same act? And does the phrasing of that question completely confuse you?

Anyway, all that to draw this illustration out as long as I possibly can. My child wants to share in what I love, and that is at least some part of his incessant nagging and never-ending neediness. I don’t know that I can say the same about my attitude toward God. I’m not all that interested in what he’s already got on his agenda or already has in His hand for me. I like the shiny thing I saw on television or in my neighbor’s possession. Even the ongoing nature of my son’s pleading is Scriptural (remember the parables of the friend at midnight or the widow and the judge?). If I say no, he keeps coming back. When he senses that the “no” is ultimate, he pouts but he moves on. If God says no to me, I rarely stay after it, I just try to sneak into the kitchen and get my own coffee when he goes out to mow the yard.  If I sense the “no” is ultimate, I pout, and pout some more, and then I pout some more. My son talks to me again within 30 seconds. I may not want to speak to God for a while.

Do I love my Father enough that I simply want to share in what He is enjoying? Or do I ask for my own stuff? Do I ask persistently, relentlessly for Him to tip his own cup of coffee my way, or do I ask Him out of spiritual obligation while plotting my own self-made PB&J sandwich?

God wants us to ask. God wants us to ask relentlessly. God wants to give.

“What man among you, if his son asks for a fish, would give him a snake?” If you earthly sin-tainted and freakishly-selfish dads want to give to your children, how much more is God a giver?

But what if a child asks for the snake? Maybe that’s what we’re doing most of the time. Not paying attention to what He’s enjoying and what He loves and what’s already in His hand. Maybe we’re asking for the things that would do more to harm the relationship than be evidence of it.

Unless we become as little children…(the ones before they start understanding TV commercials).

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5 responses

15 08 2009
dawn

That is SO my two year old as well. I share in your frustration and thank you for the perspective

15 08 2009
Stephanie Latta

What a wonderful post! Looks like we have lots to look forward to…

I remember always trying to sneak my dad’s cokes when I was little. It became a fun game to me (not so much to him)!

Amazing how much we can learn from children, huh?

15 08 2009
kdekker

Oh, you DO have so much to look forward to. You and Brad will have so much fun. I don’t have any little girl tales to tell, so you all will have to supply them.

15 08 2009
whereshallweeat

Speaking as the mother of a 2 year old little girl, you could’ve substituted my daughter’s name into your post and have the same story.

Except we’ve recently added “I do it! I do it!! No, I do it!!” to her repertoire of phrases.

I normally just get mad but now you’ve made me get all spiritual and stuff about it. I’ve asked you to avoid that but you just don’t listen.

21 10 2009
Kent Dekker

Yep! He wants to be just like you – at least at two. “Lord I want to be just like you, ’cause he wants to be like me.” Easy to say – so hard to do! If I love Him, I will keep His commandments. So why is it that I can’t seem to be able to love Him that way. Sure, we can do to the depravity thing, etc. But most of don’t have a problem with being faithful to our wives (at least with our actions even if not with our eyes). Hmmm. More stuff to talk about at our next visit together, perhaps. Love you bro! See you all soon I hope.

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