In our house we initiated a ‘spill of the day’ when the children were young. At the beginning, it seemed that every time we sat down to eat dinner, somebody would spill their milk. Never failed. We would fret and fume, jump up and get a sponge and go through the mop up. Finally it dawned on us that this was an inevitable part of life with 4 young children. So the next time it occurred (as in the next night after this realization), Bob and I just called out “SPILL OF THE DAY!” and grabbed a sponge and wiped it up. The children went from a ‘deer in the head-lights’ look upon spilling, to a ‘relax, this is life’ look. No one was ever again surprised, embarrassed or ashamed at a difficulty that just so happens to be part of life. We simply muddled through with a sigh, a smile and a means to deal with it. Today, even though young adults; when there is a spill, the kids will call out ‘SPILL OF THE DAY!!’ and laugh. (This can get a bit of attention in restaurants…)
It occurred to me today that this is similar to something our Lord has been trying to tell us all along. In Matthew 13:24-30, He tells the story about the weeds being sown among the wheat. Both grow together until the final harvest when the weeds will finally be pulled up and thrown into the fire. The wheat has to just get used to, and deal with, weeds.
In fact, throughout all of the gospels, Jesus reminds his disciples that they will be hated, ridiculed, persecuted and more – until the end of time.
Sounds pretty inevitable to me – kinda like a ‘spill of the day’.
If we look back at history, this has been the story of Christianity from the beginning. Even in cultures that accepted Christianity – as America once did – there were always other parts of the world that did not. The people who lived there were not exactly living harassment free lives.
So the dates change, the nations change, the people change, the actual circumstances change – but the reality remains the same. Our Lord was not kidding – there has been, is now, and will always be hate, ridicule, persecution and more.
So too, our ‘spill of the day’; families change, children change, circumstances change – but when you get a table full of kids together – there WILL be a ‘spill of the day’.
The sooner we get used to this fact, the sooner we will simply deal with each spill – AND each attack on our faith – with a sigh, a smile, and a means to deal with it – patiently. Because no matter how many times you mop up the latest attack; another WILL break out again…