“Mommy can I have a cookie?” Casey came running to ask me one day when she was three years old.
My answer: “Not right now, because it’s too close to lunch. After lunch you may have one.”
“Okay”, she answered.
I remember this day clearly; I was busy changing sheets on all the beds at the time. As I was coming down the hall to the laundry room with a basket full of dirty bed sheets, I see Casey with Oreo crumbs all over her face and her shirt.
“Casey, did you get a cookie?”
“Then how come you have Oreos all over your face?”
“I don’t know.”
I walked over to the kitchen and there is a chair by the counter that wasn’t there before. So she had asked the question, received the answer and clearly gone ahead and done it anyway. She had to have thought it through, grabbed a chair from the dining room, climbed up on the chair, climbed up on the countertop and opened the cabinet door, grabbed her cookies and ate them. She had decided the cookie was worth the consequences.
It reminds me of what we do so often in that we hear the no and do it anyway. Those who follow Christ say things like; it was the devil who made me do it! Let’s be honest though, most of the time the devil doesn’t even have to work that hard. We can do bad all by ourselves, to coin a phrase by Tyler Perry. So often if we look back on the things that we know we weren’t supposed to do, we did the thing, with full knowledge that it was wrong. The question then becomes, why do we act shocked when we get caught in our situations?
That day, Casey got a time out for her disobedience and she cried and said sorry. More often than not though, what I see in adults is a tendency to look around in shock and wonder how they got into their situation.
I DON’T KNOW!
I think I would fall out my counseling chair if just once I heard, “I know exactly how I got into this situation, I knew better and instead I did …….” Instead I hear, “I don’t know how this happened to me.” As if trouble was a deep pit in the road and as you were walking a giant magnetic force pulled you into the pit and.. okay, that’s crazy enough, let’s just be honest.
Our relationship with each other deserves more than a pat answer of I don’t know. Our relationship with God deserves more than I don’t know. Knowing ourselves deserves more than I don’t know. The only way to have a positive future is to examine ourselves on a regular basis. Don’t procrastinate from these regular assessments. The longer between each one, the more rationalization happens and the less we are aware that we are heading down the wrong path.