This morning Gates decided he didn’t want to go to school. Nope. Not going. Not putting on the shoes, not putting on the coat, not going. There’s just too much work there. Walking out to the car, “I’m NOT going.” Buckling in, “I’m NOT going.” Arriving at school, “I’m NOT going in.” Fortunately, I didn’t have to take Indy with me this morning so I was able to go stand in line with Gates. The last thing I want is a first grader playing hooky when it’s 17 degrees outside. The entire time we stood in line, “I’m NOT going in.” I swear that as he marched inside I still heard him muttering, “I’m NOT going in.”
Yes, there are many times when they try my patience to the limit. Sometimes I just have to laugh at them (silently, of course). But some days I have to keep my tongue clamped firmly between my teeth and my knees ready to hit the floor to beg God for a merciful spirit. I’ve lost my temper enough times to be really, really thankful for every day that I have managed to end the day saying, “Hmm, I think I kept my cool remarkably well today.”
I have acted a lot like a stubborn child sometimes, willfully doing wrong or refusing to do what I know is right. I suspect God may have heaved a parental sigh of “Is she ever going to get it?” every now and then. But his patience with me is a gift for which I am filled with gratitude.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1: 15, 16 (NIV)