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Kicking and Screaming


It’s an everyday occurrence at our house…. kicking and screaming.  These days the kicking and screaming is mostly from one of my 3 year olds.  The cause typically revolves around a Hello Kitty shirt and a mean dad who won’t let her wear it again.  You see, Emery is pretty strong willed.  She is flaunting her independence and she is every bit as stubborn as her Norwegian roots ought to suggest.  She doesn’t like that her mother and I don’t pre approve all clothing selections through her first.  The idea of wearing her Hello Kitty shirt (again) gets locked in her head and the key is thrown away.  Her mind is more focused than a laser guided missile.  She is strong willed.

I’m wise enough to know that there will be a day when I long for these moments.  There will be days when I wish the fighting was over a Hello Kitty t-shirt.  But the truth is I learn a lot from Emery’s temper tantrums.  Her agony is certainly a 3 year olds struggle in an affluent society.  But I wonder if my strong will is much different?

I typically don’t go ballistic when my Hello Kitty shirt isn’t clean.  But put me behind a car that is driving the speed limit (or worse, under it) and I get frustrated really quick.  When my computer is working slow, my cell call is dropped, and all the checkout lines are stacked 3 deep—you start to see my veins pulsating to the rhythm of my heartbeat.  Everyday I make decisions that are self-seeking instead of other seeking.

As I look at my 3 year old I have to laugh as she kicks and screams because she doesn’t get her way.  Wearing or not wearing that shirt doesn’t amount to much in the ‘grand scheme of things.’

I wonder if God smiles in the same way when we have our moments?  Maybe, from God’s perspective, all the things that we kick and scream about—the really big stuff—amounts to fighting over wearing your favorite shirt to school.

That’s the power of Jesus’ prayer in the garden.  Not my will—your will be done.  It goes a step farther than the prayer He taught us.  Not my will, Lord.  Conform my will to your will.  This seems possible when speaking of slow cars, slow computers, and the slow checkout lines.  It takes divine intervention as my will/thy will moves towards healing, joblessness, and death.  How can someone see the goodness of God’s will as another month comes and goes without getting pregnant?  God’s will seems heartless when others are healed but not my loved one.  God’s will is a kick to the teeth when my marriage is in shambles.  God’s will can’t be death, can it?

Don’t confuse Will with Compassion.  I have compassion on my daughter when she fights me over clothes.  I am empathetic to her tears and I try to comfort her.  God has compassion and empathy upon us when we are in pain and when our hearts are broken.

Maybe the problem isn’t God’s will—maybe it’s ours.  My will is often too small.  I don’t have the benefit of omnipotence on my side, do you?  Maybe my will hasn’t grown up as much as I thought it has.  I always wanted to skip dinner as a kid because it frequently happened right in the middle of USA Cartoon Express—the greatest tv show.  I kicked and screamed because I wanted what I wanted.  My parents knew what was good for me.  They enforced their will.

Our heavenly Father knows what is good for us.  He doesn’t always enforce His will.  Sometimes His will is to not intervene.  But I have to believe that, as His will is revealed, and when the radiance of His light scatters the darkness completely—we will see His will more clearly.  And none of us will be kicking and screaming over Hello Kitty t-shirts anymore.


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