My sixteen-year-old daughter was making dinner. We had “traded” chores. I did the dusting and waxing she’d put off for three days and she acquired dinner duty.
Fortunately, she likes cooking and is good at it.
Unfortunately, this is also where we collide. She’s creative where I’m logical and prefer predictability.
She wants to try new ways to improve upon familiar entrees. I want food to taste the way it always has.
In the midst of this subtle clash, I wanted to teach her how to prepare the food so it all finished cooking at the same time. She was working on the lemon sauce for the fish and I helpfully pointed out that if she started the veggies first, the fish wouldn’t get cold and the sauce could be completed while the veggies cooked.
When I reentered the kitchen a few minutes later, she was still working on the sauce and the veggies hadn’t been touched.
My surprise didn’t come across well. She didn’t react well. I reiterated my point. She explained that she thought my input was a suggestion.
I was holding too tightly and she experienced the constriction. Her emotions grew tighter and louder at the same rate as mine.
She felt frustrated and controlled. I felt disconnected and bad that I hadn’t let her prepare at her own creative pace.
I moped back to my study and chewed on my error.
Then our dog came to my rescue.
I grabbed a piece of paper and scrawled with the elegance of a six-year-old, or how a dog might write if he had opposable thumbs.
You can cook however you want.
She won’t bother you any more.
No more mean mommy. I buried her
in the garden. Can I have a treat?
I tucked the note into Milo’s collar and sent him into the kitchen (not as easy as it sounds).
…my need to be right
…my desire for people to be like me
And oh, the pain of that last one. The pride and the wonder of thinking your way is best.
What may feel like “rightness” may actually be pride that doesn’t allow people the space to live and develop at their own pace and in their own unique way.
People are beautifully created in God’s image. His wonderful, multi-faceted image.
When we can accept and even begin to celebrate others’ differences instead of focusing on them, we can become consumed by love, letting God shape and mold us instead of praying for Him to change them.
Jesus, help me to let go of my need to control situations and outcomes. Breathe Your life and Your love into my heart. Stir me to see people through Your eyes rather than mine. Help me to love myself through Your vision of me so I can love others the same way. In Jesus’ name, amen!