My son-in-law took the grandsons to a fishing clinic today. They almost turned around and came right back on account of Dominic’s whining. It’s a habit he’s into these days and it drives his parents crazy. After The Talk from Dad they continued to their destination. The event was well attended and the boys learned fishing tips, received some fishing tackle and their own pail of goodies which included a drink bottle. As they push through the crowd to head towards the car, Dominic starts wailing about losing his drink. Of course, he stops to express his misery and the crowd stumbles past around him. Dad and big brother, Ian, try to remedy the situation, but don’t have time and space to get to the heart of the matter and Dominic has cried ‘wolf’ one too many times lately to deserve any sympathetic ear. The whiner continues the fussing all the way home. Ian needs to give the report to Mom as soon as they get in the house. “Dominic cried the whole way home and gave me a headache!”. Right behind him, Dominic walks in pertly with a smile. “The drink was here in my pail all the time, Mom, see?”
My daughter relayed this story to me over the phone. She couldn’t help but laugh at the outcome, and I found it all amusing. I remember those days of loving my kids through thick and thin, ups and downs and how quickly things could turn from one to the other.
Could there be a parallel here in my adult world? What about the times I misplace my peace, or rest? If I’d just draw aside, and rearranged the things I carry in my bucket, I’m sure the bottle of Living Water would be there, ready to nourish and refresh me. Instead, others fall over me or skirt around me as I whine or complain about too much to do or getting cheated out of time to myself. I may not say the words aloud, but attitudes and sighs make good whining techniques.
The living water Giver says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”*
Father, help me to turn to you as my first source of rest. Walking and working with you in natural rhythms of grace sounds wonderful. Draw me close when I’m keeping company with weariness and discouragement who can crowd you out. Thanks for caring about me and inviting me into all that you are.
I’m praying Dominic learns to handle his emotions better as he gets older and to learn to know the Companion who can help him live freely and lightly. That day can’t come soon enough for Mom, Dad and Ian.