Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Exhale (08/15/13)
TITLE: Let It Go
By Lisa Hudson
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You should see the look on children’s faces after I tell them that blueberries are just peas holding their breath. Their eyes get big while I keep up the silly game until I can’t keep a straight face anymore. I remember reading this in Readers Digest once, and it stuck with me. I can just picture a bowl full of peas with their eyes shut tight, holding their breath until they turn a deep shade of purple. Finally, like us, when they can’t hold it in any longer, they just have to exhale and return to their boring shade of green. Of course, to wonder why a bowl full of peas would need to hold their breath at all, brings up a whole new set of questions. Enough about the peas.
I wonder who first thought of holding their breath until their demands were met? Did a child one day, say, “If you won’t let me have this, I’m gonna hold my breath!” and it took? If a child ever attempted this threat with me, I think I would laugh. I know when I try to hold my breath, my body takes over and ‘breathes’ for me. I have heard of people fainting from holding their breath, but the minute a person faints, they start breathing automatically. I know there are many more pressing issues in the world, but sometimes these small mysteries enter my thoughts, and I just have to wonder.
Lately, many things have taken place that have caused me to look at myself, from the point of view of our Heavenly Father. Could you imagine our telling Him, “If You don’t let me have this prayer answered, I’m just going to hold my breath until You do!”? To challenge the very Giver of our breath and life, by trying to hold our breath is absurd. I imagine He would laugh too. But in many ways, we do just that. “If You will help me get this job, God, I’ll be in church every Sunday!” or “If I win the lottery, I will give half of what I win to charity!” Maybe we aren’t holding our breath when we say these things, but we might as well be. They are empty words, usually, and He knows this only too well.
As a parent, I have learned to know when my children are being sincere, and when they are just trying to tell me what I want to hear. It is much easier to discern when a younger child is being honest then it is a teenager or older child. They haven’t yet learned the tricks and masks to use when we want to hide our true thoughts or feelings. I remember a little neighbor girl came to our house to visit, and she was amazed at the sight of our Christmas tree. It was a beauty, and I always hang candy canes on the tree as an added decoration. Before she left, she was walking backward toward the door with her hand behind her back, and when I asked her if she had anything in her hand, of course she said “No”! I knew she had taken a candy cane, and I told her that all she had to do was ask. Again, I can picture God watching us do the very same type of thing. How patient He is with us.
When we and our older children start to make choices that others probably wouldn’t approve of, we do our best to either justify what we are doing, or will flat-out lie, if necessary. Of course, the truth always comes out, and feelings are usually hurt. The difference between us as human parents and children, compared to God the Father, is that we tend to keep a running list of past hurts and failures. From both sides, we keep them stored up as ammunition for the next conflict. God is so good, that He wipes our mistakes away as soon as we ask. He is always willing to forgive and forget, and continues to love us, knowing that we will fail Him again, and again.
As I write this, I realize I too, am holding my breath, waiting for my kids to make better choices. I can feel them laugh at me as I begin to turn purple with frustration. I want so much to be a good and loving parent the way God is to me. I want to breathe again.
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