Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)
TITLE: A CHOICE LESSON
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“Jamie, wake up. It’s 9:30.”
I bolted upright in bed and stared unbelievingly at the clock. It couldn’t possibly be 9:30. It should be reading 7:30.
“But Mum, Our class is going to the computer factory today, and the bus was leaving at 9 a.m. sharp,” I gasped. “They’ll already have left. Why didn’t you wake me up before?”
“I was doing something else, so I thought I’d wake you up when I felt like it, a bit later. Anyway, you usually wake yourself up at 7:30’ish. But I suppose going to bed at 11p.m. instead of 9 might have had something to do with you sleeping in,” my mother responded calmly, walking back to the kitchen.
I was anything but calm! How could she do that to me. It was too late to go with the class, so I had to stay at home. I mucked about and tried to make the most of a day off, but that trip was going to be the highlight of the year.
I asked Mum if she would drive me to the sports shop to pick up my racquet which was getting re-strung.
“Later, when I feel like it,” was the only answer I got. Lunch hour came and went, and Mum hadn’t even started to get anything for us to eat.
“When are we going to eat Mum? I’m starving.”
“Later, when I feel like it,” she said again. My stomach didn’t want to know anything about ‘later’. It felt like it right now! I helped myself to something out of the fridge. I thought Mum would enjoy having me home with her, but she didn’t even seem to notice that I was around.
Then I remembered the sports shop closed early on Wednesdays, and asked Mum to quickly get us down there before it closed.
“I haven’t finished what I am doing, “ she said. “I’ll be ready sooner or later.”
About an hour later we arrived at the shop only to find it closed.
“I told you that it closed early, Mum. Why couldn’t we have just come when I first asked you?” I fumed in frustration.
“Well, Jamie,” said Mum, turning to look at me. “ I have only given you a dose of your own medicine today. It seems that every time I’ve asked you to do something lately, you have always answered with a ’Hang on, I’m not finished yet.’ Or a ‘I don’t feel like doing that right now. I’ll do it later.’ Or you simply ignore me and carry on doing your own thing as if I hadn’t said anything. Take last night for instance. I told you just before 9 o’clock that you had 10 more minutes and then to bed. I deliberately didn’t remind you again, because, as you are always telling me, you’re not a kid any longer. You didn’t get yourself off to bed until 11 o’clock. Hence you sleeping in this morning.
Life is all about choices; a ‘yes’, a ‘no’, or a ‘when I feel like it’. You’ve been making too many ‘when I feel like it’ choices lately. When I ask you to do something, I want it done when I ask for it to be done, just like you wanted me to do for you today. But today, I decided that I would just do things when I felt like it. The problem is that when one does that, it has negative consequences. Not going to bed when I told you to go last night, meant you missed the class trip today.
And it isn’t just negative consequences for ourselves, but also for other people. My ‘I’ll do it when I feel like it’ choices today, had negative consequences for you. You missed the trip, you starved at lunch time, and you missed out on getting your racquet back.
The thing is Jamie, an ‘I’ll do it when I feel like it’ choice, is as bad as a ‘no’ choice. It is still disobedience. Do you think you could work harder on making the right choice?
Choosing is the easiest part. The hard part comes in living with the consequences. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Choose wisely!
Hey, let’s make a good choice right now. How about a pizza? We’re starving!”
Yea, Mum went crazy today, but I can’t really blame her. After all, it was my choice!
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