Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Neon Sign

I'm not sure where I heard it the first time, but someone said, "God doesn't always give you a neon sign." and let me tell you, I have used that figure of speech time and again. Sometimes because I've felt as though I've received a neon sign from God, sometimes because I'm desiring one.

My oldest son made a trade today. He traded all of his star wars Lego mini figures for all of his friend's Pokemon cards. This trade was discussed two days ago and determined to happen today when they would see each other again. Truthfully my husband and I weren't too sure about this trade. Lego mini figures come in sets and we knew that to get several of these he had saved up a lot of money and worked hard. We both spoke with him and let him know that he wasn't required to go through with the trade and that he didn't have to trade all of the mini figures. He was gung-ho to go through with it. He ran to meet his friend. They traded. He was ecstatic. We got in the car and the elation was still prevalent. 

By the time we got home his mood had switched. When we sat down to lunch he started to cry. Of course I was concerned and asked him what was wrong. He was suddenly feeling let down and having misgivings about having traded his entire collection. 

My heart sunk for him. 

I think we've all been there. We've all made a decision that later on we regret. It's an awful sinking disappointment, filled with frustration and consternation. I could see it written all over his face. 

I didn't know what to do or say. 

Part of learning and growing is being allowed to make our own choices, right? My husband and I had decided to stay out of the situation. Our son had seemed so excited to make the trade and pleased with the arrangement that I found myself thinking that maybe I was being silly to worry about it. Seeing him defeated and hurting I plunged myself headlong into prayer asking that God could give me the right words - not to fix the problem, but to edify and empathize with this boy that I care for so much. 

I hurriedly put the littler ones down for naps and grabbed the Bible. I sat down next to my son and said, "We all get disappointed honey. We all make mistakes sometimes. I'm so sorry you're sad." 

We discussed making sure we include God in our plans. 

When we include God in our plans He doesn't always give us that neon sign that we are looking for. Sometimes we still have to muddle through all the pros and cons, but actually that's a way of including God in our decision. Consciously and carefully considering our decisions before we make them. 

I know that right now he's still downhearted about the choice he made. That might not change for a while. My hope is that he remembers this experience and uses it to his advantage in the future. Today he only lost out on Lego mini figures, in ten years a bad decision could cost him a car, several hundred dollars, or more. I pray that the mistakes that he makes now set him up for success later on in life when the choices we make have much more at stake. I pray that he looks for those neon signs from God and involves Him in his decision making. 

"To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Proverbs 16:1-3

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