Beep, Beep, Beep. And so another day begins.
Here is a recent exchange of words that took place between my children following those beeps . . .
Daughter: “Wake up,” (in a tired tone to her brother)
Son: “I know. I’m just stretching!” (annoyed response to his sister)
Daughter: “I said, it’s time to GET UP!” (impatient authoritative demand)
Son: “GET OUT OF MY ROOM!” (angry defensive reaction)
Together: “MOM!!!!!” (screaming in unison)
To be fair, most of the time our wake-up system works beautifully. As an early bird, I am already downstairs getting ready to prepare breakfast. My older daughter has the alarm clock in her room that goes off at 6 a.m. She then transfers the wake-up call by poking her head into her brother’s room and gently relaying the alarm. Then they both come downstairs to start the morning school routine.
But for some reason, on that groggy morning, voices and attitudes were not so sunny. Not even three minutes into the day yet, and the kids were already heading down the stairs in a heated argument.
Daughter: “If you would just get up when I tell you the first time, then I wouldn’t HAVE to repeat myself!”
Son: “I WAS getting up!”
Daughter: “NO, you weren’t!”
Son: “I don’t want you to wake me up anymore! Mom, can I have my own alarm clock?”
As sad as this made me feel, I said that I would consider buying my son his own alarm clock--because he is getting older and having separate ones could avoid future potential arguments.
So the three of us continued our morning routine of breakfast with a “God Time Card.” This is a daily devotion that our church gives out each week to elementary students. It encourages them to discuss/practice a spiritual theme for the month and memorize an applicable Bible verse.
Guess what this month’s theme is? PEACE (HaHaHa! Don’t you love early morning irony?)
The definition of peace provided on the paper says, “Proving you care more about each other than winning an argument.”
So I’m sitting there, trying to put an invisible muzzle over my mommy mouth--hoping they would make this missing “peace” connection without me having to preach it and knock them over the heads with it.
After a few moments of silence, I gently posed the question, “So . . . Can either of you think of a very recent time that you could apply this to?”
I could see in their disgruntled faces that they were not having it--clearly they were not ready to discect the argument that had just taken place. So, I moved forward with the morning and prayed that the lesson would eventually sink in.
Minutes later, as I was upstairs, I could hear the two of them interacting downstairs. Apparently, something did get into their hearts--without me having to forcefully inject it! It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit has more space to move and speak when I pray and walk away.
Even though my daughter did not feel as though she was at fault, she wanted to prove she cared more about her sibling than winning an argument . . . so she sweetly packed her brother’s lunch for him (including a kind note) while he was getting dressed in the other room.
When he came to the kitchen and saw this peace offering, he was so touched and responded with, “Maybe I don’t need my own alarm clock yet. You can still wake me up in the mornings.”
HA-LLE-LU-IAH, look what God can do!!! How heart-warming to see Scripture in action. Below is the verse that they each took turns saying over breakfast from their God Time Card.
“So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build up one another.” (Romans 14:19 NIrV)
What can you do for someone else--to show that you care more about them over winning an argument? If something as simple as making a lunch generated peace, imagine the many ways that you can build others up and extend peace . . . Even if, especially if, it’s not your fault!