Without a hitch our breakfast of choice is iHop. It's our go-to place where girlfriend gets her some pancakes and she and her Pops practice 'coloring in the lines.'
She is absolutely precious and practically perfect in every way except for one little flaw.....she's been telling 'lies.' We have never experienced this fall from grace in her behavior. We have only her parents' word on this. But it seems sweet thing has decided a good way to stay up past bedtime is to tell Mommy she has to go to the potty. Personally, we think it's brilliant. BUT her parents are not amused. And to our great dismay, she pulled this stunt on a Thursday night. And her punishment? Wait for it.......
She threw a fit. It was quite the Oscar winning performance. The tears were huge. Pops and I held it in. But truth be told - everybody got punished.
Isn't that just the way sin is? It doesn't just affect one. You were just wanting to have a good time. (Or stay up a little later.) You really didn't think it was a big deal. But somebody bigger and with more authority laid down the law. And suddenly what seemed like a good idea hurts. And that hurt hurts others.
It's a little like Pops teaching her to color in the lines. It takes a lot of practice and some motor skill maturity to color in the lines. We don't start out knowing how to do it. We have to make mistakes and all too often our attempts aren't very pretty at first. But slowly and surely - after much practice, progress is made. And because we love her so very much we make a huge deal out of her growth and accomplishments. We encourage. We applaud. We high five. We buy ice cream.
And out of scribbles and hen-scratchings, beauty emerges. Grace.
Just like us. Little children - coloring outside the lines. Making messes out of our lives. Having to re-do and hurting ourselves and others along the way. And then slowly but surely we begin to grow. We begin to recognize that those 'lines' make for beauty in our lives. They are meant for good. For our perfection.
Last night Sutton called her mommy and told her she had to go potty. And she did. She looked with joy at her Mommy and said, "When we don't lie, we get to go to iHop."
That's what happens when we obey the Lord. We are joy-filled. And life is a lot less difficult.