Learning to Obey

“and teach them (the disciples you will make of all nations) to obey everything I have commanded you.”  –Matthew 28:20

So this morning, during the offering, a little boy—probably about 3 or 4, and undoubtedly coached by his parents beforehand about putting his coins into the offering plate—decided that he was not going down without a fight.  The plate came to him and he had a Vulcan death grip on his hard earned money.  Mom and Dad reminded him—gently at first, then with increasing levels of persuasion, of what he had promised to do, but he was not buying it.  I was trying not to stare (that could totally be my kid, so I have all kinds of empathy for his parents), but I’m pretty sure the episode ended with tiny fingers being pried open.  I know the little guy ended up unhappily on the floor.  I hope Jesus changes some lives with those grubby coins.

It was cute (only because it was not my kid, I know).  But the truth is, I am that kid.  And, if you’re honest, I bet you are too.

…teach them to obey.

To observe, look at, know intimately.

To think about intentionally.

To act upon deliberately.

I’m good with the knowing.  And the thinking.  It’s the acting upon that gets me every time.

The truth is, I’m still learning to obey.

Sometimes the metaphorical offering plate is passed and I put my coins in just like everybody else.  Sometimes I even do a little celebratory dance up to the front of the church to drop them in.  And sometimes, I hear the word and go all Vulcan death grip like my little friend.

Sometimes I cling with all my might to the last vestiges of what I think is mine and he has to pry my reluctant fingers off one by one.  And sometimes I even end up having a tantrum in the floor when it’s all said and done.

I believe that Jesus can change some lives with those grubby coins.  Or at least one.



On the off chance that my little friend’s mama or daddy reads this, I just want to say that you are awesome.  I’m not sure if your little man learned the joy of obedience today, but I have no doubt that he is on the right track.

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