Jul. 28, 2015

Childlike Selflessness

So my exhausted and hungry 4-year-old son climbs up to the table to eat his dinner. Now dinner for Logan is not easy. He would prefer to eat one of two meals, mac and cheese or hotdogs (although he is just starting to move into apples, yay!). Unfortunately for him, tonight those options were not on the menu. After about 10 minutes of fits and crying, my husband takes him upstairs to go to bed early, without dinner. This strategy usually works well for us, but we don’t do it often. As he gets his jammies on, he reconsiders his empty tummy and decides that dinner doesn’t sound that bad.

Anyway, after they left the room, Macy asks where they are going. I tell her, “Daddy is putting Logan to bed because he is refusing to eat and he is exhausted.” Macy got so upset, she stood up quickly and piped up, "I will go to bed instead of Logan!" I paused, put down my fork and asked her if she would be willing to stop eating her dinner, of which she had only eaten about three bites, and go to bed so that Logan could come downstairs and have another chance to eat his dinner. Yes. That is exactly what she was saying. She didn't want him to go without. I then explained that he wouldn't eat it, that's why he was going to bed in the first place. She took a deep breath and said that she would still be willing to go to bed right now if he could come down and have another chance.

Wow. I’m not even sure how to process this. They say it is good to have a childlike heart, so innocent and pure, but I doubt this would ever be my first thought, even as a child. Yet, that was exactly what Macy was thinking. She was willing to give up her dinner, that she had been waiting so patiently to eat, for her little brother to have another opportunity at potentially eating his dinner. She had no idea if he would take a second chance and eat his dinner, if he would eat anything at all, or if he would just continue to throw a fit. But it didn’t matter to her; he was worth the risk!

It really did take me a while to process this one. Are there people that I am willing to “take the risk” for? Am I willing to empower people to have another chance? Even people who seem to consistently make the wrong choices? There are so many people out there that need another opportunity. We will never know if someone is one decision away from turning their lives around and walking toward that metaphoric dinner table to eat their meal.

So what can I learn from my daughter here? Am I willing to take the risk? Am I willing to give up anything asked of me for someone else? What about voluntarily giving it up? I clearly have a lot to learn about selflessness and second chances. I’m pretty sure there is a bible story somewhere in there.