I have not been without faith and a relationship with our Holy Father all my life. I grew up in a non religious household and really began seeking out a meaningful relationship with God throughout middle and high school. Over the years I've been close at times, and farther away at times. I imagine that is somewhat normal, thus the prodigal son. It is as I continue to grow into my parent skin though, that I feel more able to understand, appreciate, and even relate to God the Father, albeit on a very limited human level.
Today I was having a conversation with our oldest son. Nothing special, just prodding him to help his younger siblings pick up even if he didn't necessarily get said toys out himself. I reminded him of how many times I pick up after him, even though I'm not the one who made the mess. I do it because I love him and it's a nice thing to do. A thank you is always appreciated, and when I ask him to do it himself I expect to see some effort on his part.
I will admit there are often times when I get in a funk feeling overworked and under appreciated. Often it isn't necessarily something big or important that I do. It's typically small, repetitive, mundane tasks that fill my days. I've often found myself wondering how long I would have to be gone before someone else wiped the toilet down or how horrible it would have to get before anyone even noticed. Would anyone ever put the toilet paper on the actual roll if I died? What would this house look like at a week sans Mom? a month? six months? I shutter!
No I don't want to die, nor will I know or care what the house is like if I do but it is all these little things that sometimes get overwhelming when they seem endless and unappreciated. Sometimes I wonder if they even realize it's been done. Do they realize all the toothpaste goop left in the sink last night is gone the next day? Do they notice when there are no scuffs on the freshly mopped floor? Or is it completely overlooked in the midst of daily life? I don't honestly expect a kudo for cleaning the bathroom, it is what I do under our household arrangement. An occasional helping hand is always nice, or just an effort to keep the house looking nice would be stellar.
This brings me to just a wee glimpse of what our Heavenly Father must feel like. There have been many times I have felt his hand in my life, leading me gently and quietly (if I listen carefully) in the direction I should go. I try to be diligent in thanking him for the blessings he has given us. But how many thousands of small little ways has he cared for me that I completely over looked? Have I even paid close enough attention to notice what he does? How many of my messes did he quietly clean up for me?
I don't expect my eight year old to always have a helpful attitude. He is only eight and I try to be realistic, but it's my job to help him grow into a compassionate and helpful person. I want him to learn to recognize and appreciate the things other people do for him, and to realize how he can in turn help others. It is these moments as I ponder the very things I am trying to teach my children, that I can most clearly see how God is trying to teach me.
I think the housework might feel a little different tomorrow...