Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When you know better......but you think about pushing the limits

Oh how I love this sweet little face!  Hard to imagine that Anna will be one year old in a few days. Yesterday I was following her around the house (because that is the only way to be sure she is safe...and she is fast!), she came to the stairs.  I was sitting on the couch and she looked over at me with that big smile, and shook her head "no-no" and them started to put her knee up on that first step.  All the while, watching me and smiling and shaking her head no!  When I said "Anna, No No!" she very slowly moved away from the stairs (still shaking her head no).  She is learning...even at this young age...that there are limits that must be obeyed.  But she loves to test those limits and see if she just might be a bit faster than grandma and make it to those stairs (or the bathroom- if the door might be open- or the shoes by the door or the dog bowls - etc). And then she flashes that heart-melting grin.

Isn't this a picture of how we sometimes lead our own life?  We know that there are things that we should avoid, places that we should not go, shows that we should not watch, or books that we should not read.  It is really something different for each one of us.  Seriously, stop right now and bring up to the surface of your mind, those limits that you know are there for you.  Yes, I admit that I am lots like Anna.  I even find myself stopping and asking, isn't this okay?  When I know that it is not.  Sort of like that extra dessert when you know that you have had enough.

Unfortunately, there are many in the church that are pushing the limits when they should know better.  There is compromise happening and decisions being made that are far from the Biblical truths.  You can't avoid seeing something about this topic.  And because of that, there are so many churches pointing fingers at other churches or groups of people.  Hateful words being spoken (or shouted at times). And it is so hurtful.  And this is why I love Chicago HUB so much.  The people who get together there have one point of common ground.  Jesus.  Belief and acceptance of who Jesus is and what he has done for us on the cross.  John 3:16.  All the other stuff just doesn't matter when you are in the presence of Jesus.  It is so freeing and so filling when Jesus is all that matters.

I don't know about you, but I for one am thankful that there are limits.  I feel much better knowing what I need to avoid.  Isn't it wonderful that Jesus knew that we would need to be reminded of our limits and this is one great benefit of the Holy Spirit living in us.  Anna would not be safe on those stairs, so it is for her protection that we prevent her from climbing those stairs.  And I am also thankful for the body of Christ that stands with us and pulls us away from those dangerous "off limits" activities when we choose to ignore the nudge of the Holy Spirit.

Anna is very blessed to have great older siblings.  They follow after her and loudly announce when she might be getting into trouble.  Let me tell you this is a big help for this grandma!  It is so much fun to see Anna growing up.  Today I actually caught all three kids (Lia was at school - Ellie was home sick from school, but feeling better by the time I took this picture) playing so happily together.
They have a large shelf of "Little People" (Fisher Price) and each of the kids plays hours with every set.  Sometimes you will find a "princess" driving a farm tractor or a "batman" in the princess castle.  It really doesn't matter.  Because with Little People, there are no limits!  There isn't any right way or wrong way to play with these toys, it is all imagination.  I am so thankful that my grandchildren have freedom to play explore.  And I am thankful that we have that freedom (with some limits) in Jesus.

Jesus, thank you so much for the reminder about limits, the things that are just dangerous for us.  Holy Spirit, thank you for the firm and gentle rebukes that keep us away from the obvious sharp drop offs and also the subtle scary places. Help us keep our eyes and ears open for ourselves and for our sisters and brothers.  Thank you for sweet little ones that remind us to be like little children in your Kingdom Jesus!  Amen

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