Sometimes I feel like a toddler in potty-training. I’m gently guided and directed again and again, day after day, with positive reinforcements only to poop in my pants once again. I forget that a toilet even exists, that a huge M&M jar awaits my successes, and I start whining and throwing tantrums about the excretions I’m sitting in.
Lately, my prayers have been to “see as He sees” and “hear as He hears”. God has been faithful to answer my prayers, and he has shown me that my human nature produces a continual dependant state of potty-training. Just when I think I’ve finally graduated to training pants, a change or stressor comes my way and I’m best pals with the Pampers again.
I remember the daunting task of potty-training my oldest son. It literally took an entire year. In the morning I would put him in “big boy” underwear and I would cheer for him and sing potty songs with a huge cheesy smile and have parties with cookies and candies and peruse through Toys R’ Us catalogs for the perfect “fully potty-trained” toy. By the evening, I would be washing and scrubbing that “big boy” underwear. Frustrated and on my last nerve, I stashed away the cookies and candies and slammed the toy catalog closed. I tried EVERYTHING! It was beyond me why after so much coaching and instruction, it was just not sinking in. It was a mentally and physically exhausting time for both of us and there were days that we were both in tears.
I think about how God has to potty-train us, not just a few years, but our entire lives! Whereas we get to the end of our rope and respond in frustration, annoyance, and irritation, His response is always patience, love, and acceptance. The cookies and candies remain on the table for the taking and the toy catalogs are open right where we left off, available for us to pick up and continue whenever we choose. Not once does he ever refuse to clean us up, or tell us we stink. He has a never ending supply of wipes and diaper rash cream, all of which he has paid for out of pocket, but continues to distribute among his children free of charge. It is called potty-training, not potty-reprimand, potty-chastise, potty-rebuke, or potty-vengeance. It is training; it is time invested in someone that is indispensable. You take time to train someone that you have confidence will eventually be able to skillfully carry out the tasks without constant reminders.
I hope that someday I will not have to be reminded that I “gotta go”, but that I will automatically recall how to “see as He sees” and “hear as He hears”. God doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I believe to be the best option, but he does answer them. He doesn’t always provide the easiest way. If he did, I’d still be sitting in my own waste waiting for someone to come by and change me! To see and hear as He does, takes a whole lot of time, continual training, and heaps of grace for a prodigal pooper like myself.
I laughed when I envisioned a heaven full of chatty MOPS groups on puffy clouds, eating heaping bowls of delectable chocolates, delighting in their wings and wonderfully dry “big girl” panties!