Potty Training, Your Pulse, God’s Plan
So this weekend we’ve undertaken the task of potty training our two-year old son, Graer. I knew it would be tough but I had no idea how annoying and difficult it would be. In the beginning he didn’t have any idea what was happening and would just have an accident in the middle of the room in his newly christened underwear. He hated the toilet and kept tearfully begging for diapers again. We had to decide early on if we were going to let him go back to diapers or if we would push through and even after we decided I still had second thoughts.
The thing that kept coming to mind was all the conversations I’ve had over the years with students, parents and leaders who are frustrated with the lack of progress they’re seeing in someone else or the prodding they are feeling personally. It’s really difficult in the middle of the situation to see any sort of progress and I can see why defaulting back to old habits or pursuits is easy and seems like the best option.
NO TURNING BACK
We decided early on that he was not going to wear diapers other than to sleep and that we were going to help him get potty trained no matter how much he fought it. There were times he was crying because he either wanted a diaper or didn’t want to be scurried away to the toilet at the first sign of ‘potty time.’ I’m sure that to him it felt like we were being cruel and no matter how many M&M’s or stickers we gave him for being dry he couldn’t see the long term benefits of being potty trained.
The progress we see in our walks with Christ is usually incremental and with others, it definitely is. In our annual reviews with our 40+ volunteer staff the thing I kept bringing up, even in the most challenging of situations, was the state of students a year ago and where that particular leader was at the age of those they minister to. It brought immediate perspective and showed that the investments they are making are definitely worth it and making a difference.
NEW PEOPLE, OLD PROBLEMS
The author of Hebrews talks about the fact that those he’s writing to should be mature and teaching others by that point in their development but instead they still need the basics re-explained (Hebrews 5:11-14). We should be careful that in the scope of our own life and the ministry we’re a part of we don’t settle for the milk and diapers of our development and we strive for greater and deeper truths, even when they’re difficult.
The stagnation some of us can let happen in our faith should be surrendered to Jesus and then we should ask what areas He desires us to step forward into so that we can grow beyond where we are now. We use a saying; if you’ve got a pulse, God’s got a plan to grow and develop you. In other words, if you’re still alive, you probably need to ask God to take off a diaper in some part of your life and challenge you to what’s next.