Saturday, June 17, 2006

“And It Was Good”

“Mom, I noticed I was really good today.” I remember trying to fight the chuckle. At least I made it sound more like a cough. I think he bought it. It’s just that a five-year-old’s idea of good and a mom’s idea of good are sometimes oh so wildly different. I thought, Where was he when I was doing laundry and had to pull six worms out of the pockets of his shorts? (Two were still alive.) Did he not even notice that sucking Jello through a straw was not my idea of a good time? Did he still think convincing his brother that he was adopted was a good thing? Of course, if he meant that he hadn’t done any lasting property damage and that he hadn’t committed a single felony all day, then, sure, I guess we could call this a “good” day. And at least I never got bored.

Instead of saying what I was thinking, I managed to respond to with, “You do lots of good things every day. Did you know I like having you around?” I really meant it. That had to be a gift from God. He is so good.

Speaking of good, I love the account of creation. Talk about good! As a matter of fact, the first chapter of Genesis is full of “God saw…and it was good” accounts. “Good” in the Genesis context means, “exactly right for the purposes intended.” God had a really great week.

I can’t imagine anything sweeter than getting to the end of this life and hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” In five-year-old-ese, I think it could probably be translated, “I noticed you were really good.” Not good in my own goodness, but good through the borrowed righteousness of Christ and empowered for good deeds through his Holy Spirit. That thought is sweeter to me than even the longest stretch of worm-free laundry. I can’t think of anything more glorious than hearing him say that I was “exactly right for the purposes intended.”

It spurs me on to the good works he’s planned for me to do. I don’t think sitting around watching soaps and popping chocolates all day was ever part of God’s plan. Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Tending and keeping was probably no small job. It had to be at least as tough as raising a five-year-old. But working for him is “good.” There is blessing in good deeds and blessing in hard work. Laziness was never part of God’s plan. Boredom either.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Vacuum's Lost Its Suckage

I had a little wrestling match with my vacuum cleaner this week. It was doing the wimpy-clean thing--you know, where you have to get down on your hands and knees and hand-feed it every little fuzz ball and potato chip crumb? If I'm going to do that, I might as well not have a vacuum cleaner. I could just pick up the fuzz and chips and throw them in the trash myself, couldn't I? Cut out the middle man.

Anyway, the thing had lost all its "suck-ocity." So I got it in a headlock and looked underneath to find out why. I found a little piece of sock, a length of yarn that could've been an entire sweater in another life, a hunk of rug from the kids' bathroom and a bunch of those little plastic price tag things. No wonder it didn't want to work! If all that stuff doesn't affect a vacuum's suck-ocity, I don't know what will.

At least it gave me a little reminder. When we let our minds suck up the wrong things, we can't expect them to work the way they're supposed to. There's so much garbage on TV, in magazines—everywhere. If we let our minds suck up trashy stuff, we shouldn't be surprised when we have a hard time dwelling on the things we're supposed to. We're told in Philippians 4:8 what kind of things we're supposed to think about: "Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." (CEV)

There's lots less wrestling with our minds when we remember to fill them with the right things.

And personally, I'm also going to try to remember not to let my kids use the vacuum any more.