The kids recently checked out a book from the library that is a retelling of one of Aesop’s fables, The Wind and the Sun. Basically, the wind and the sun entered into a competition to see who could remove a man’s coat from him. The wind blew, cold and hard, but the colder and harder it blew, the tighter the man wrapped his coat around himself.
The sun, when the wind had given up, shone upon the man. First warmly, then brighter and hotter. The man finally stopped walking, rested beneath a tree and took his coat off, using it as a pillow for his head as he took a nap.
I’d never heard this fable before. It’s interesting to me. Being a mother of young children, I’ve done a lot of thinking about obedience and authority. Being a lawyer, I’ve done some thinking about obedience and authority. Being a wife, I’ve done some thinking about obedience and authority. But, particularly since Jubilee turned two, I’ve done a lot of thinking about obedience and authority.
It’s not really anything I’d ever spent time thinking about. See, I live in America, a place where we celebrate “Independence” Day. I live in Montana, a place where independence grows deep and vibrant, thriving in the big woods of the Big Sky state. I’m also a pretty independent person, someone who refuses to identify with a particular political party (both are wrong!); attends a “non-denominational” church (every denomination creed I’ve read, I’ve found things to disagree with); and chose to have a profession, in part, so that if anything ever became of my husband, I could financially support myself and our children.
Independence was something I thought about a lot growing up. Spend a lot of energy becoming independent. Pretty much formed my identity around it. So the concept of authority, submission and obedience haven’t factored into my life except as negative things to, frankly, be avoided unless I agree with the authority.
I’m revisiting this brash judgment of authority and obedience now that I’ve begun this journey as a mother. I’m realizing that I got a lot of things wrong about it. I’m wondering what kind of an authority figure I can be for my children – both intentionally and “what’s caught.”
And, I’m catching myself about how disobedient I am. This morning, Noah got up at 5:00 a.m. again. I cursed in my head, tried to get him back to sleep and grudgingly got up with the little monkey. See 5:00 was his wake up time for a while, and we got a break for a couple weeks.
Sleeping “in” until just after 6:00 was bliss. He even slept until almost 7:00 a couple times last week. And, one of those times, I woke up at 6:00. I felt fairly refreshed, and felt a still, small voice prompt me to get up. It would have been a good time to read my Bible and visit with God. But did I roll out of bed?
That whole rebellious disobedience reared its head. I told myself I “deserved” to catch up on some sleep; I’d say my prayers on my pillow (right). And had a bad attitude about the whole idea that I should have kicked myself in the butt and just got up.
I know that God doesn’t desire sacrifice and offerings but a heart that truly seeks him. I want to tell myself that obedience in these little things is sacrifice and offering; but I think that’s just my excuse. I’m beginning to think that maybe these little disobediences are a reflection of the fact that my view of God is pretty small, my independence is pretty big and we gotta whole lotta work to do on faith.
the Utmost today talked about obedience. “Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” He leaves us perfectly free to choose–so free, n fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death … But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and effective domination, in which I acknowledge that “You are worthy, O Lord … The level of my growth in grace is revealed by the way I look at obedience. We should have a much higher view of the word obedience …”
So, yea, that study about the attributes of God might be in order here. And a little butt-kicking.
What are you thinking about and pondering in your season of life? Any studies you feel like you need to do?