On Tuesday, Anna had piano lessons after school, so I took Emily along to pick up Anna and drive to her piano teacher’s home studio for the lesson. Anna works SO hard with her lessons, and she had a great one that day. We were all in good spirits as I drove us back home, listening to our church kids Christmas CD with songs for our annual production.
Now, picture this: Christmas music is playing, Emily is telling me a story about her day at preschool, and Anna is DESPERATELY wanting to “hear” the music.” Anna is whining, Emily is talking even louder, and I can see an explosion coming… And, there it is. Anna’s foot coming up out of the seat and resting on Emily’s face. Yes, she kicked her sister in the FACE while we were riding in the van.
After a STERN reprimand and the music being turn off promptly, upon arrival at our home, Anna marched up to her room to sit on the bed to “think” about how she could have changed her reaction. After a few minutes, I walked into her room, she looked sheepishly at me, and I asked, “What could have been going through your mind to have you think that kicking your sister would be a good idea?” Anna looked up at me, serious blue eyes shining with tears, “Well, mommy. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do; not what you want me to do, not what God wanted me to do.” Gut-wrenchingly honest, huh? Well, we did talk this out, and since then, we have not had any other “incidences” of feet flying. Whew. Now, back to her honest response…
I’m so glad Anna tells me her true heart because it is through her incredible honesty and knowing of herself that I can glean great insight into her heart as well as my own. Isn’t all sin, ill-motives, or lack of trust in a FAITHFUL God pretty much due to the fact that “we want to do what WE want to do?” We make all sorts of excuses with good Christian lingo, even, to justify our actions or thoughts. It’s time (at least for me and hopefully Anna 😉 ) to begin fully relying on God, finding and maintaining our confidence and good motives in the personhood of Christ who is always consistent, faithful, reliable, and true. Lying, strife, haughtiness, and pride have no room in a heart fully devoted to Him. I will ALWAYS mess up, but when I’m relying upon the Holy Spirit to bring back to my mind the TRUTH, I can repent, ask for forgiveness, and FIX my eyes upon Him.
Although it would have been fitting, I refrained from quoting portions of Romans 7 to my sweet Anna, lest it would confuse her even more. But, if even the Apostle Paul struggled with the sins he committed and why he did them, I’m guessing all of humanity sees the tension between the good and evil inside our spirit. May we be encouraged and challenged by the Holy Spirit as we journey even closer to the message of the Cross.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.