Earlier today, John really wanted a cookie (he calls them cakies). I informed him he needed to eat his food first, and then he could have dessert when we came home. He proceeded to have a pretty good meltdown, complete with a healthy portion of tears and carrying on.
He wanted that cookie right then and was pissed when he didn’t get it.
Around the same time, my older son wanted to go for a bike ride with his grandpa (we were hanging out over there). That didn’t work out, either, and he went into a class III pout/sulk. This is an 8 year-old version of throwing a fit, and not much different from what his little brother was doing.
He wanted to go for that ride, and he was pissed when he didn’t get to.
I was thinking about the whole thing tonight when we got home and it occurred to me how much like that we are with God. We go to him with entreaties for what we think we need to have or want to do and we throw fits if it doesn’t happen on our timetables.
We want our cookies now, and sometimes there are other things we need to do first, or go through first.
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. There was a time a few years before I met my wife when I was convinced I’d met the person I was “supposed” to be with. I remember praying that God would help that situation work out in my favor. I was convinced that if it happened with us, every other messed up thing about my life and myself would suddenly make sense.
It did work out, for a time, and I was happy enough. But not really. I knew she was pulling me away from God, but I didn’t care. I told myself I had things under control.
I don’t think it surprised anyone when things imploded in a spectacular fashion that messed me up for years, until a beautiful young woman from Yuma sent me a message on MySpace.
After things ended, I was furious with God. I resolved not to ever share that part of myself with anyone again, even though I desperately wanted to. With that resolution, I was also withholding part of me from God. It wasn’t just the matter of denying my company to the ladies, but also rejecting the part of me God created to know him best.
I was throwing a fit, because I wanted to be with this woman and God knew better than I what I actually needed.
Maybe it’s like that with you, or has been. You want something from God or someone else, and you want it now.
Maybe you won’t get it. I don’t know how you respond to that, but for me it made me want to turn away from God rather than toward him. It made me take my toys and leave the sandbox for a while, metaphorically speaking.
It didn’t help at all.
So how do you handle it when God doesn’t give you what you want? Do you throw a fit? Do you sulk? Do you run toward God or away from him?