When children are small, grandparents love to hold the little hands and converse mindlessly while slowly walking, almost oblivious to sights and sounds. It doesn’t matter the topic or the place. Mostly.
But there are some places to avoid. Like toy stores. And candy shops.
However strong the bond between grandparent and child, whatever the topic of conversation, no matter the joy of togetherness, it all ends abruptly when treats are in the offing.
There’s something about human desire that stymies relationships, plans, and wisdom. Desire, once triggered, is almost impossible to contain. Nothing matters but satisfaction. Once the focus shifts from grandpa to toys or candy, it’s almost impossible to regain the connection. What was an intimate and pleasurable stroll becomes a contest of the wills and quickly deteriorates into an acrimonious scene.
It matters little that Grandpa’s resistance actually arises from greater knowledge or better plans. Concern for health and well-being pale in light of the craving for immediate gratification. A promise of a satisfying meal followed by a trip for ice cream cannot possibly amend the loss of candy, RIGHT NOW!
How sad that short-sighted lust and insistence for guilty pleasures can so quickly bring distrust and anger into hearts so close on the heels of confidence and intimacy and in the face of genuine love and concern.
Sometimes love surrenders. Allows satisfaction. While knowing it will lead to sickness. And regret.
Grandpa’s heart grieves, but he knows that – in the long run – the lesson will be valuable and eventually lead to an even stronger relationship. Some things can’t be easily learned by instruction. Once selfishness takes charge, some things can only be learned through bitter experience.
Have you ever taken your hand from the One Who Loves You Best, and chased after the guilty pleasure? Turned from the All Knowing to pursue what you thought was best? Closed your ears to Him Who Knows The End From The Beginning to grab the fleeting satisfaction? He always knows best, and desires best, and offers us best. But sometimes He lets us have our way; allows us to learn our hard lesson.
I’m learning to listen; to appreciate His ways; to trust Him, even when He says, “Not now.” I don’t want to be controlled and destroyed by my selfishness, my short-sighted desire. I want to love God more than I love what I want. How about you?
...we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:14, 15 (Good News Bible)