Christian Devotionals

"This is Just Plain Crazy"

The other day, my wife Karen surprised me by coming home early to take me out to lunch. It was a nice change of pace as I usually eat lunch at home by myself. As soon as we sat down at a nice booth by the window – taking in the beauty of the Fall foliage – we heard “them.” By “them” I mean a young mother and her very young and extremely loud small children. From the moment they set foot in the door, Karen and I both knew that this would not be a quiet and relaxing lunch. I don’t know what was worse, the kids running around screaming or their mom and her attempts to keep them quiet (e.g. “LET’S USE OUR INDOOR VOICES, PEOPLE ARE EATING LUNCH”). Of course she was belting out these instructions at decibel levels far above those of her children. We tried to shrug it off and hoped for the best, after all we once had three small children and knew what is was like to rein in the crew. Within moments she was joined by another young mom and her small children (that PBJ sandwich at home suddenly seemed very appealing to me).

Before you go and call me a grumpy old man, please hear me out. The kids were totally in control of their mothers and ran them ragged. This wasn’t a kiddy restaurant either. We at least tried to stick with McDonald’s, Friendly’s or Chucky Cheese when we ventured out with our kids. Karen and I tried to resume our conversation as the kids set out to touch every possible thing in the restaurant – each touch was met by a loud “Don’t touch that!” By the time they sat down to eat, both moms were totally beleaguered and stressed out. What’s more disconcerting is that the two moms – I’m assuming that they were friends – never spoke to each other. The kids dominated every moment and these two ladies never even had a chance to talk. All we heard were desperate negotiations along the lines of “Please eat your chicken tenders and then you can have some French fries.” Without being overly critical of their parenting styles, my question is “What were they thinking?” Why waste time and money and add needless stress to your day by going to an adult-type restaurant where you won’t have a moment’s peace or any fellowship with your friend?

Karen was especially saddened by the fact that there were no adult words shared by the two mothers. Instead we had scrambling, cajoling and idle threats. I asked Karen why didn’t they just go to the park, share a picnic lunch and let the kids roam free. This way the two moms would have a chance to talk. I believe that our heavenly Father looks down from heaven and asks similar questions about us:

“Why are you so incredibly busy doing things that make no sense and still insist on jamming more things into your crazy schedule? Why do you allow life’s circumstances to pull you around by your nose when I offer you peace, guidance and order? Why don’t you talk to Me anymore … no, not the perfunctory prayer that you murmur as you fall asleep, but real conversation? I offer you genuine fellowship and My undivided attention. You on the other hand fit Me in where you can and your thoughts towards Me are akin to spiritual A.D.D. I know what you need. Come to Me and be satisfied.”

Let this motivate all of us to take time to be still before our Maker and enjoy Him.

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