“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ ” Mark 14:27
As parents, we’re at times required to do things that our children don’t understand. Sometimes it’s only our motivation for doing what we’ve done that our children can’t understand. At other times, depending on the maturity of the child, the confusion grows to include more than just our motivation.
My parents required us to do far more chores than many of our friends. There wasn’t a household janitorial or maintenance action that couldn’t be added to the list of chores, provided it wasn’t beyond our capability to safely do the task.
I remember being envious of my friends comparative freedom from chores and I couldn’t see why my parents had to be so unfair by requiring so much from me.
But all that work developed somethings in me, very early, that I haven’t observed in many people. First, it taught me how to recognize when something is clean or not and it taught me how to get it clean. Second, it taught me that I could take care of most household maintenance projects, if I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty doing difficult and, at times, unpleasant tasks. Thirdly, doing all those chores taught me that getting something done quickly and correctly is the best way to handle unpleasant tasks. Dragging your feet and doing shoddy work only makes the unpleasantness last longer and it keeps you from getting to do things you might actually enjoy.
Because we learned to do our chores well my brothers and I were all highly valued as employees almost as soon as we began working as teenagers. And those cleaning skills, taught by my parents, ended up paying for a healthy percentage of my college education as well.
As a child, I didn’t understand the valuable lessons I was being taught by my parents uncompromising insistence that I do my chores but I do now.
Quite often, God needs to do things we don’t understand. And sometimes our not understanding can lead us into a crisis of faith. But God can’t not do the right thing just because we’re too immature or ignorant to understand. Love demands that the best we can do be done and we need to trust that the love shared between us will be enough to cover the incomprehensible until understanding makes everything clear.