Monday, June 21, 2010

Young Lions Sometimes Go Hungry

"Eat your peas."
" . . . but I don't like peas."
"Eat your peas."
" . . . they taste yucky!"
"Eat your peas."
" . . . (crying) but I don't wanna eat my peas! I hate peas!"
Mom slowly but confidently takes the plate to the sink, washing the peas down the drain. No more peas.
An hour passes. My child is hungry. "I'm hungry mommy. I'm hungry now."
"I'm sorry honey. We were eating a terrific dinner and you were being very rude about the peas because you wanted something else. We're done with dinner now. I'm sorry you're hungry. We'll eat again tomorrow."
My child now understands. She looks down at her shoes and thinks about spaghetti noodles as her shoe laces flip back and forth.

Fast forward.
"You need to be home on time."
"But I don't want to come home that early."
"You need to be home at curfew."
"But I don't want to."
"You need to follow our rules."
"But I don't like your rules."
Mom slowly but confidently takes the car keys, the house keys, the priveleges and figuratively washes those away . . . hoping the young lion becomes hungry again. Soon. Hungry for rightness, hungry for relationship, hungry for goodness.

As a parent there is nothing harder than drawing the line in the sand and enforcing boundaries. As a child there is nothing harder than understanding why a parent must draw than line. What a child cannot see, and will never see, until they have young lions of their own, is that the lines are drawn to keep a child protected. Usually from themselves. Parents struggle with doing it - it hurts them to discipline the child even when a consequence MUST follow poor choices.

Psalm 34:10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Sometimes young lions do go hungry. And in that hunger they think. And in that thinking hopefully they discover initiative. And drive. And hopefully in that drive they discover they are responsible for what their path, their bounty, their pursuit. Hopefully that hunger gives them the raw courage to venture out, take necessary risks to learn life, to increase their stature. And hopefully in that hunger they seek God and trust His provision.

I'm watching a young lion go hungry tonight. It would be so easy to feed, cottle and rescue . . . but I can't.

God what is my job? Pray for the hunger to grow into a yearning. Pray for the yearning to grow into a strength. Pray for that strength to grow into a powerful force for good. Pray for the young lion to grow into a beautiful warm confident lionness.

And one who loves peas. : )