Is it an inconvenience or an opportunity? Some would choose the first, but I choose the latter. I would say that with every inconvenience is an opportunity, an opportunity to teach and to learn. God has given us free will this means we have to make the choice or decision ourselves. He is not going to make us do the right or wrong thing. We have to base our decisions on principles we learn form His Word. What about children? It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children these same principles that we have learned and are still learning, this would be the opportunity to teach. The other opportunities would be for us to learn or to put what we have learned into action, making it our way of life because we all know that knowledge is useless if not applied.
How do we apply what we have learned through the 'opportunity'? It is not always easy, even though it may sound easy. 'Just do what is right', but sometimes what sounds so easy is hard. It is hard sometimes for me as a mother to do what is right and best for my children. You may think this sounds horrible, but wait a minute stop and think. I want my children to be happy, stay young and innocent. I want to give them the world and more, but is this what is right and best for them. If they always get what they want they will become spoiled brats. If they stay forever young and innocent they will have know wisdom for the world, how evil it is and how it works against God and the things of God.
Here was our opportunity. Princess loved the new Disney movie Tangled. She loves just about everything Tangled right now. Princess had been working and saving all of her pennies so that she could buy the movie when it came out. She was so excited. She was learning patients as we didn't go get the movie on Tuesday because we would be going out on Wednesday and are trying to conserve gas. If that wasn't hard enough for a 6 year old when we finally got to Target they didn't have any Tangled combo packs left. We were told that the next nearest Target had several, but here comes the opportunity. The next nearest Target was about 25 minutes away and church would be starting in 15 minutes. So we have a movie that is in high demand, church starting shortly and a 6 year old's dream hanging in the balance. Now you know that the purchase of a movie is not really a big deal, but to a 6 year old this would be like an adult getting their dream sewing machine or dream car so to speak and the chance of it not being there if they wait, it is a huge thing. The choices we have are skip church and make sure Princess can get her movie after all she has worked so hard and waited so long already, or take the this inconvenience for the opportunity that it is to teach and to learn. Sometimes teaching these lessons as parents' to our children is learning for ourselves. We had been teaching the kids the meanings of 'love' (honoring God first in your life) and 'loyalty' (choosing God over pleasure). This gave us a perfect opportunity to teach this in action, not just in words. Was is hard? You bet. We first gave her the options. "We can go to the other store and get your movie now, but we would miss church or we can go to church and then go to the store after church. Which one do you think we should do?" Of course her first choice was to go now. We then reminded her of the words we have been learning and their meanings. We also helped her to apply them to the situation and then asked the same question again. This time she chose church and then getting her movie. This was a hard choice for her. She knew that there was a chance that the other store would be sold out by the time we got there. This was hard for us as parents because we can't always give them everything they want even if we want to. Sometimes what they need is more important than what they want. We want our kids to grow up loving Christ and to put him first in their lives. We have to teach them and develop this love of Christ now so that it will go with them through their lives. With a prayer telling God we wanted to honor him first in our lives and asking him if he could save a movie for Princess. We were off to church. No more tears and with happy hearts. Did we rush out the door as soon as service was over? No. Even Princess was happy to chat and play with the other kids for a few minutes. Was there a movie left? Yes, and did Princess ever get a deal. She is one smart shopper in training. Target had the 4-disc combo pack on sale for $24.99, Princess used her Disney rewards coupon of $5 and her Target coupon of $5 along with bringing her own bag which will save you another $.05 (every penny counts) to get her movie for a grand total of $16.44 including tax. But the more important deal was the lesson in love and loyalty to God, priceless. Now how is that for a happy ending.
If it weren't for this 'inconvenience' or 'opportunity' Princess would still have her movie, but she would not have experienced that loving and honoring God in her life is not always easy. Something that if one does not know and understand can cause them to run away at the first sign of tough times. I am thankful for the opportunity for us to teach and to learn to love and honor God when it really matters, when it really counts, when its hard.