by Gloria Furman
I heard someone define “crazy” as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.
In light of this definition, I wonder if my children are delusional.
Every night I give the announcement: “Time for bed.” And every night these three monosyllabic words signal the beginning of anywhere from 5 to 55 minutes of whining, groans, pleads, and quite possibly tears and hiccups.
So I say helpful things to them like, “Kids, this happens every day.”
I give them hope. “If the sun doesn’t go to sleep, you don’t have to go to sleep. Oh but look, the moon is out so you must go to bed.”
I reason with them. “Look, the sooner you submit to your toothbrush and pajamas the sooner you can go to sleep then the sooner you can wake up.”
I break out my cheerleader pom-poms. “I can’t wait to spend more time with you when you wake up in the morning! Let’s get some rest so we can have lots of fun again tomorrow! Yay! We can do it!”
Even still, the tears may stream down their cheeks and perhaps their sinuses will release a deluge of boogers. And then come the hiccups. Their adorable hiccups just get me every time. Clearly they’re exhausted and ready for bed.
My kids sincerely hold out hope that the rules might change—but they never do. Can you see the “crazy”?
And apparently it runs in the family.
I’m no different than my children. I’m delusional, too. My “crazy” shows up when I expect to receive things from the world that it can never give me.
I want happiness, so I work hard to change my circumstances.
But my hard work is never done. The sense of happiness I get from working hard lasts as long as the next time I need to empty the dishwasher.
Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The angst of unfinished tasks should serve me by pointing me to the finished work of Christ on the cross. As I balance the budget [again] I can remember how the work Jesus did can never be thwarted, and the result of his work brings me into God’s presence where there is unending joy forever! I can’t get that magnitude or duration of joy anywhere else but in the Lord’s presence.
I want help, so I open up my web browser and start searching.
The Information Age has a lot to offer a mom who is looking for answers, and that’s a very good thing! I don’t know where I’d be without my recipe website that tells me what meals I can make using whatever is in my fridge the night before Grocery Day. But I cringe when I think of how much time I spend pridefully googling versus humbly praying for God’s help.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Jesus shed his blood for me, opening up for me access into God’s throne room. God hears my prayers—how could I not pray!
I want peace, so I feed off of relationships that are going well.
That kind of peace is provisional, selfish and exhausting. It works as long as everyone is happy with me and I’m happy with them. I need a sturdy, guaranteed peace that will last forever.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As I reflect on how God declared me righteous (ie. “justified” me) because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I can rest peacefully knowing that nothing can change the status of my relationship with God.
My delusional habits are no different than my children’s. They think Bed Time will be spontaneously repealed, while I repeatedly look to the world for things that only God can give me.
What about tomorrow night?
Next time I help my little ones harness their hiccups after the dreaded Bed Time announcement, I hope I remember to smile and have compassion on them. I get it—I’m kinda crazy, too.
And I hope the craziness will help me remember to ask the Lord to continually renew my mind in accordance with his gospel.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).