Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Job Description

I had my son load the dishwasher last night. He overstuffed it in a way that would not allow the bowls to get cleaned. Since I was a little annoyed about the way he left his room this morning, I didn't fix it quietly and get on with my night...oh no! To his chagrin, I was rather loud and effusive in my criticism. His only saving grace was that the soccer field in the backyard was empty at the time so none of his friends witnessed his "failure."

Am I always a dish washing perfectionist? I just expect him to do his best at all times :o) That is good, no...God gave us the commandments, 10, that He expects us to obey. At Mass this morning, the first reading from Timothy (1Timothy 3:1-13) tells us what is required of a man if he wants to be a deacon. These are only two examples of lessons or rules we are given in the bible regarding our behavior.
So why did I feel uneasy about my parenting moment last night. How was my response to my son's behavior inadequate.

My way is not Gods way. The Lord demands perfection from us at all times. This is mitigated by His immediate and complete forgiveness every time we ask for it. If I falter in my tasks, he can give me the strength to move on. He is really the only way we can even approach perfection and He is always willing to carry me through. I am unable to do anything without Him.

Also, our heavenly father has an advantage in that he is able to see our heart. He know if we made a sincere effort or were just trying to get by. That laundry list of rules for deacon's is something that many types of people would love to have, not to only to strive to be Holy and good, but because we think we can be perfect on our own, without the help of Jesus. We would make amazing Pharisees...

Next Sundays 1st reading tells us all of this and more. Gods ways are not our ways and he calls for us to be perfect...not something we can do on our own but only through his supernatural help...and then not on this side of heaven. But our way is not His, and He knows our heart...
(Sunday's readings are from www.ewtn.com)

Isaiah 55: 6 - 9

6 "Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Lord, Help me to always strive to be perfect, like you, even when I am so far from hitting the mark. Carry me thorough, so that I am able to model for my children an imperfect soul who is trying...not a Pharisee who can quote rules but does not love...amen.

I know that my job is to raise saints, not perfect dishwashers, or football players, or even scholars. I remember reading that God can change things in our children's minds and hearts, even when we fail. I hope that my children remember that parenting is a very difficult job and I pray that they know my heart, which loves them very much and that I am always proud of them.

Click here for today's work sheet

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