He was a hard-working man, so this was very out-of-character comment for him, but such were our exchanges on a daily basis. He is gone, so he wasn’t here to stop me when I decided to start digging along the side of the house to clear out the grass and weeds to put in a rock garden with potted plants.
After about a six-foot-by-eight- foot area of digging, pulling, smoothing, and placing pavers along the border, I was a little sore and tired. I praised God for the next two days as it rained and kept me from playing in the dirt so I could recuperate.
When I was able to get back outside, I decided to have the kids help me. Since my yard is full of rocks, I decided to minimize expenses by collecting what I could out of the yard to fill the cleared area. My three helpers and I went to two areas of the back yard up close to the house. They were able to collect rocks as long as I was with them overseeing their progress and adding to the bucketful.
Having gotten them started, I went back to the side yard. Soon, my daughter came around to show me how hard she had been working with dark, rich muck stuck to her hands. Looking heavenward, I went to the back to see how bad the situation was.
Two “someones” decided to dig where I told them not to, added water from the hose to their hole, and decorated an area of the house and sidewalk in the process. The oldest and youngest were back there while the middle one had been helping me so I knew who had done what.
Among the many things I wasted my breath saying to them was that if they loved me, then they would do the things I said to do and stop making more work for me; clearly not the brightest or kindest of things to say to them.
As I clamped my lips shut on that, two things went through my head, well, three. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Ouch! My biting criticism was not what I want them to remember. Secondly, I thought of “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
OK, missed that one, too, in my comments to them. Third, “If you love me keep my commandments …” (John 14:15), which, in the vernacular is “do what I say.”
Then, as I wanted to mentally beat myself up, I remembered that I am perfect in Christ, and not of my own energy. Therefore the reasoning behind, Luke 9:23, “… If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
There it is - daily.
Thank God! No, really, Thank You God that You are here to pull me back when I drift away. There is a reason to hide His word in our hearts … sometimes it makes it out before we do or say something we regret.