We went home for lunch. The boys' energy lingered as they squirmed in their seats at the lunch table. My daughter and I could have used some of that energy. She had been up since daybreak with the kids, and I felt as if I'd just run a marathon at the playground.
It was nap time for the three-year old.
"We're having quiet time for an hour," I explained to my eight-year old grandson.
Frowning and pinching his lips into a twist, he said, "Do I have to, Nona?"
I nodded. My grandson begrudgingly flopped onto the couch with his pillow. I turned down the volume on the TV. He knew he didn't have to go to sleep, but needed quiet time (not easy for a a very active young man).
I laid back in the recliner and closed my eyes. It occurred to me my grandson was not the only one to complain. Just days earlier, I'd been guilty of the same "Do I have to?" response. On a day off, well laid-out plans would be interrupted. Phone call. Urgent meeting. "You must go." I said "Okay," but inwardly, all I could think of was, "Do I have to?"
How many "Do I have to?" moments can take place in life. When I was young, I grumbled about those moments, and now that I am older, I continue to grumble! The difference between then and now, however, is prayer. When the bumps in the road become too difficult to travel, I ask God for help. Sometimes my prayers are answered the way I would like them to be. Other times the instruction is different, and inwardly I want to complain to God, and say, "Do I have to?"
Just as a parent or grandparent must admonish a child or grandchild, in turn, I know that my Heavenly Father must do the same. Sometimes God's answer is not what I want...but it's always what I need.
My grandson fidgeted on the couch for awhile, but then settled down and watched TV quietly. He didn't get what he wanted, but he did get some much needed rest time. And "Mommy" got to rest, too, and so did this "Nona."
When "Do I have to?" times arise, a verse from
2 Chronicles 15:7 provides positive insight:
"Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
My wish for you this week is a positive one. If any "Do I have to?" moments arise, may they be ones that God gives you the strength to do!