Saturday, December 18, 2010

Promises

Ah, to be five again. The only worries my little sister seems to have are what outfits she will go through in a day, winning or losing a game of Candyland, and practicing her letters, words, and pronunciation.

Now that both of my sisters are officially on break, we'll be spending A LOT of quality time together. Haha! This week both of them went to school a grand total of one and a half days due to snow and icy road conditions. That was it! I can't complain about all of the city and county schools being off because I've been on break since December 7th.

So naturally, since we've already spent more time than usual with each other, we've already started pushing each others buttons. One thing that each of us does on a regular basis, whether on purpose or by pure accident, is starting arguments and/or fights with one another. What group of siblings doesn't?

Kayla likes to instigate the "which pet belongs to which person" argument. Now, I know that I could resist the bait and be the bigger person, but sometimes you just can't pass up an opportunity to start your own mischief. It goes like this. She'll waltz in to find me playing with one of the animals. She will then say, "Tink Tink is your cat" or "Charlie is my dog" or "Squeak is Mom's cat." In reality, they are everybody's pet, but there are a few of us who take more responsibility than others with the care of the animals.

Like, when the cats leave hairballs, I get to clean the mess up. Does Kayla? No. Yeah I know that she's five (almost six!), but if she claims one individual animal as hers, then I always counter with, "Well, then next time Tink has a hairball, you can clean it up. If she's your animal, then you have to take care of her and do everything." Kayla like clockwork responds, "Well, Tink is my cat and I play with her and love her while you clean up her messes and stuff."

Funny stuff. Anyway, this little diatribe always leads to the promise that she made me a very long time ago, which was that she would stop picking up Tink. I didn't like the way Kayla would pick the cat up...I always envision Tink's little life being squeezed out of her. I don't even remember how I got Kayla to make and keep that promise, but she has ever since then.

One day this week, our inevitable animal argument led to my favorite funny topic of conversation, picking up and holding the cat. With an exasperated look on her face accompanied by a huff, Kayla said, "I'm tired of keeping this promise. It's hard, and I don't want to."

After some deliberation, we renegotiated the terms of our agreement. All is well. Tink doesn't get the life squished out of her.

Though our situation was resolved, I kept thinking about what Kayla said. I wonder how many times that I have gone to God saying, "I'm tired of keeping this promise. It's hard, and I don't want to." Some promises are effortless to keep, others not so much. I find myself struggling all the time to keep promises that I made with God.

When I run out of things to say and get stuck, all I can say is, Father have mercy on me, a sinner. At times, I feel that I have nothing left to offer but my defeat courtesy of temptation, and my sincere sorrow.

Lucky for me and for all of us, though we may break our promises, God doesn't. I am thankful for that, though I know that I probably will never understand how He does it. Struggling to uphold our ends of the deal is a life-long lesson.

How can a five year old provide such bunny-trailing wisdom? Ah, to be five again.

1 comment:

Mary said...

It sounds like Kayla has the right idea: She gets to do all the loving and you get to do the dirty work! :D