Like every other little boy on the planet, he likes to build towers so that, in a moment of utter aggression, he can knock over his masterpiece and watch all the pieces go flying to kingdom come.
The construction/demolition process usually looks something like this:
- "You want to build a tower, Mommy?"
- I agree and we start piecing blocks together...up up up.
- I watch him put together this blue print in his head (or lack there of), selecting just the "right" piece to place in each specific location.
- At some point he usually reminds me that he is an "arch-ta-tec"
- We have some moments where wobbling requires me to anchor the whole thing with my hands so that we can use every.single.block. in the most lop-sided creation in all of history
- He puts the last block on and smiles with great pride
- He runs into the other room giggling and shouting my "line" before I can get it out, "Just don't knock it over!!!"
- A moment passes and he comes dashing back in, so excited and ready to destroy.
- Blocks fall to the floor.
Although, lately, there has been one added step. If, for whatever reason, I am not there to anchor the tower as he builds, it usually ends up toppling a couple of times before he finishes. For example, today I was feeding Judah as he was building and I watched about a third of the tower collapse. He saw it coming. Very frustrated, he shouts "That's MY tower!!"
I have heard him say several times while building in the last week.
"That's MY tower!!"
I am always intrigued wtih the the way that he expresses frustration. Sometimes it creates frustration in me as well. Sometimes it evokes deep compassion. Sometimes it's just plain hilarious.
This time I laughed a little, and I felt bad for him, but mostly...I couldn't help but relate.
Don't we all have this feeling of self-entitlement? I know I do.
We want to be able to place the blame somewhere when things don't go the way that we had planned.
Often, there is no one to blame. It's just that life is frustrating sometimes. The car needs another repair...I don't want to
spend waste my money on it. A friend asks for a favor that seems oh-so-inconvenient. I don't want to spend my time on that.
Sometimes it's that we, ourselves, have royally screwed things up. We have arranged our lives in such a way that suddenly, all the "blocks" are about to come crashing down around us. Unwise choices, burned bridges, words we can't take back.
And yet, when things don't play out the way we had planned, we too can be heard crying out in a moment of exasperation:
"It's MY life!"
Except that it's not.
As I recall, we were bought at a price.In reality, there is no such thing as my job, my family, my possessions. Because it wasn't my work that got me there, my fertility that created life, or my talent that earned me anything.
Now, obviously, people work hard to get good jobs, and partner with God to conceive children, and save wisely to obtain things they need or want.
But none of those things are truly ours to keep. Need an example? Just look at unempolyment rates, a family who has lost a child, and the man begging on the corner.
We grieve for one who was dearly loved.
Moth and rust destroy.
Sometimes life is ugly. Brutal. Unbearable.
The frustration, the sorrow, the anger build until we scream
"This is not what I had in mind for MY life!"
I have come to see that anything that we are blessed enough to have is on loan to us from God.
And I find rest in knowing the One who paid for evey moment...and has a plan for each event...good or bad.
I have some things I need to surrender - because they aren't mine at all.
They are yours, Lord. And it is all for your glory.