Playing video games with a four year old is quite an experience in patience and cooperation, both for me and my step-grandson. Our “scheduled” sessions of operating game controllers with our thumbs is contingent on his good behavior, eating all of his dinner, and minding his Mommy. During game time, he must share, take turns, be nice (not say, “I got all the pieces and you didn’t.”), and not get angry when things don’t go his way.
Here’s how it typically unfolds. He picks one level for us to play and when we complete our mission, I pick the next. Every four-year-old is on the cusp of learning to take turns, to surrender their desire to be first, be the best, have the most, and allow others to “take a turn”. So when we play, there is typically a point after completing his chosen level when he either will accept that it’s my turn to pick the next level or he requests (fervently) to pick again. Progress has been made over the gaming sessions and he relents on most occasions.
Two nights ago, however, when we completed the level he initially chose, the defining moment came and he says, “Ok, it’s your turn, Grandma Shell, but could you pick a level that I want to play?”
We enter into new territory of explanation of what “taking turns” really means.
“When it’s my turn, I get to pick the level I want to play, and when it’s your turn, you pick whatever level you want to play, ” I clarify, “I can’t pick what you want or it wouldn’t be really my turn.”
He understands, looks a little defeated that his request didn’t alter my decision, and settles into a happy showdown between super heroes and bad guys. Feeling good that I helped him understand the true meaning of sharing, taking turns, and relenting expectations, little did my four-year-old gaming buddy know, but that lesson was for me.
When we choose God’s will for our lives, how easy is it to NOT make our own request?
“I will follow Your will, Lord, but would you…”
“I want to live my life Your way, God, but I would like to….”
“Lord, I am all Yours, but could I just have….”.
To completely surrender all to our Father may be one of the hardest things a Christian has to do. God clearly gives us all free will, freedom to choose our own path, and He expects us to make our own choices. I believe God guides us to follow the actions of His Son, Jesus Christ, and surrender to His will completely with full faith and trust.
Jesus knew following God’s will was so significant and emphatically important that He included it in The Lord’s Prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthews 6:18 NIV
Jesus prayed about it in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest, “He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42 NIV
Jesus never followed, “your will be done” with except, but, however, although, or any other adverb or conjunction indicating our Messiah wanted anything other than His Father’s uncompromising and perfect plan. Having a “Jesus mindset” takes purposeful awareness of my own motivation and thoughts. I ask God to help me fully surrender to His plan and leave the “buts” out of it. Does it always work? Of course not, as I continue to be His work in progress.
My prayer for you is to receive a fuller understanding of God’s plan for your own life and know that His will is perfect. Surrendering fully and completely is a huge step in walking in a relationship with our Creator. May God give you guidance on His perfect will and plan for your life.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, let Your will be done in my life. Let my mind and spirit be pleased with Your plan. In Jesus Name, Amen.”