Gabriel loves his LEGO®. At his recent 8th birthday party, he received enough LEGO sets to last him until next year’s party. It didn’t matter if there were duplicates … the more pieces, the better.
A cardboard box has become the headquarters for a world of LEGO superheroes that he has created. If he could take it to bed with him, he would. Now, if I had an itch to tinker with his LEGO toys while he was asleep, he would wake up the next morning knowing something is out of place, no matter how well I tried to put it back to the way he had left it. It’s a valuable lesson on flexibility for Gabriel. No matter how hard he works on his perfect LEGO world, it will not always remain as is. For instance, he cannot always keep his 2-year-old brother’s hands from tearing apart those complicated things. And, what if there’s an earthquake? There’s no such thing as retrofitting LEGO buildings to make them earthquake-proof. If he decides to take something out of the cardboard box to play with it, the likelihood of slipping and dropping the toy only increases. “Let’s just try to put it back together again or make something new with it, ” I would tell him. But sometimes, he’s inflexible. “I’m just gonna throw it away,” he would say. If he can’t have it his way, he’d rather not have it. But throw it away? Those things cost a good amount of money! Besides, we know that’s not really the answer. My motherly foresight tells me that in a few hours, he will be looking for those LEGO pieces again. And I would rather not be digging for them in the garbage can.
I realize that, like Gabriel, I want my perfect world–every person and every thing in its place just the way I want it–kept “safe” in my own cardboard box. But it will not always remain as is. I cannot control the outside influences that can ruffle up my world nor the persons placed in my world. Take my children, for example. Though I have a certain measure of influence on them, I ultimately can’t control them. I also cannot ward off unexpected circumstances or trials away from my world just as Gabriel cannot keep his brother’s quick hands from grabbing his toys. And when things I’m holding on to shatter into a million pieces, I can’t just say, “That’s it! I’m throwing it all away!”
The reality is that although I have some freedom to operate in this world, although I have a degree of influence, and although I have been given the task to rule in certain spheres, it is not my world. It is God’s world. And He is in control.
“The Lord does whatever pleases Him,
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths.”