Toddlers, man. They get into EVERYTHING. Drawers, cupboards, doors, boxes, purses, whatever...you name it, they're INTO it, right? We tell him no, we ask him to put it down or close it or whatever, and he doesn't listen.
But lucky for me, I learned that telling this little dude that something is "not ours" weirdly works wonders. "Not our keys, baby!"
He repeats, "not ours!" and sets them down. "Dude, those pants on the shelf are not ours."
He repeats "not ours!" and immediately (usually) backs away. No fits, no crying, no tantrums. He just willingly gives it up.
I've giggled about how magical those two words have been, but it didn't hit me until yesterday. This is pretty profound.
When he realizes that something is "not ours" to begin with, he lets go of it so much more easily.
WHAT IF WE adopted that mindset? What if we held things so lightly in our hands that once we realized it was not ours from the start, it wasn't so selfishly painful to give it up?
Our money. Our clothes. Our TV. Our friends. Our spouses. Our time. Our CHILDREN.
One of the biggest and hardest lessons I've learned in foster care is that no matter what I do or how far we come together, each child in the system who comes through our home is not ours. Parents who have birthed a baby, the fact of the matter is that the same is true for you. If we believe that EVERY good and perfect gift is from above, then we have to believe that nothing we've received is OURS. In Les Miserables, one of the characters says about his love that "she was never mine to keep."
This boy is not ours. Any future children we have, no matter how they come, are not ours. This business we have been so blessed with...it's not ours. All the money we ever receive is not ours. This house is not ours. This gift / strength / talent is not ours. It is ALL a gift and a chance to worship the One who gave it to us in the first place.
Friends, may we take this lesson from a 2 year old. In every moment, may we realize that this life is NOT OURS, and with that knowledge, willingly give it all up.
Scary to choose, but a calling is a calling.
And I think He is worthy of our faith and praise no matter how uncomfortable it may be.