This is what she looked like yesterday walking up to the house, dog hat in hand, thumb in mouth, eyes downcast. She knew she was in trouble. This kid, wearing her very too small halloween costume and her new cowgirl boots, was taking advantage of the long walk from the coop to the house to self-soothe and come up with a good story. Something that would justify heckling a laying hen and locking her brothers in the hen house. And instead of standing impressively on the deck, hands on hips, ready to dole out a consequence, her mother was choking on her smirk and snapping pics of this kid's crazy getup. Frustration and delight were warring for seniority and what eventually won out was pity. How can I be angry at this ridiculous, wonderful girl, really? And yet, there had to be discipline. There always has to be discipline mixed in with the grace.
Then it struck me. How silly I must look to my Father when I'm caught with egg on my face. How often Jesus must shake his head when I'm caught with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar and have to make the walk of shame to Him for my punishment. Sometimes He lets me get away with it, all parents do and He's inarguably busier than any of us, but I feel most loved when I don't get away with it. Discipline is hard, but it's good too. It is the mark of being loved, when Jesus cares enough to not let me rot in my sinfulness, regardless of how much He'd maybe rather laugh and take a snapshot of how I look to show me someday. So here's to egg on our faces and the walk of shame and looking silly. And here's to a Jesus waiting to help us be better. To leave our sinful nature behind and become really good P.R. for the kingdom. I've failed lately. Fail so often. But this kid of mine reminded me that there is a high standard worth shooting for because at the top, well, lining the whole path to the top is Jesus and he died so I wouldn't have to get my just desserts, which makes me rethink some things I'm doing and thinking and should be doing. And this is all to say that I'm trying to be real. But it's ugly, sometimes and I look really silly doing the same rotten things over and over and not learning my lesson and choosing instead to self-soothe and drag my feet going to see my Father because discipline is hard. But if it gets me closer to Jesus, I'm in. All in.