My middle son empties the dishwasher every day. He’s done it long enough now that he doesn’t question when I remind him. So, when I asked him one day to also load it, it was because I made the assumption that, in his unloading efforts, he may have noticed where each category of dish, cup, and utensil fits best in our dishwasher.
At my request, though, he looks overwhelmed. Angry. Confused. This task is not his. Why would I ask him to do this today or ever?
As he moves cups from sink to dishwasher, he has dishwasher amnesia. He has no idea how to turn anything to fit. His swift expertise in unloading does not translate to knowing where to place anything in that very same dishwasher.
I stand by, calmly directing, refusing to get sucked into his anger, as he bangs cups and mugs and bowls into place. He is mad. He doesn’t actually want to know how.
As my son slams forks and spoons into their tidy columns, I see something familiar. I see a stubbornness and lack of humility that I know. My son’s shoving and seething brings forth a picture of what my own selfishness and self-inflated attitude must look like to my Father.
How often have I thrown a fit when He asked me to step away from stacking squeaky clean mugs and plates? How often have I balked at plunging my hands into the grease and gunk?
I don’t want to scrape and scrub. I don’t want to touch and hold and line up the dirty. I just want to keep doing what I’m already doing—because am I not doing this for Him already?
Lord, thank You for this hard-to-watch glimpse of my shortsightedness. Forgive me for being too comfortable where I’ve decided I’m supposed to be. Forgive me for fearing the places that You want to take me and the things that You want to teach me. And forgive me for forgetting that as You lead me to new places, You are good.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” — Corrie Ten Boom