Sunday, February 14, 2016

You Get What You Get and You Don't Pitch a Fit

My boys have both been privileged to have the same wonderful teacher in preschool, Mrs. Rhonda. 

She’s responsible for teaching super awesome tips like how to hold onto your sleeve when you put on a jacket so your sleeve doesn’t wind up over your elbow. I think we can all agree this is a crucial skill for the preschool set.

She also has some fun little sayings. “One, two, three, eyes on me!” This one works great for her (for some reason, it is less effective when I employ it in our home). 

Without a doubt, my favorite saying is “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit!” 

We’ve handed out crayons and you wanted a different color? “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit!” 
We’re having cupcakes and you wanted the one from the far left corner instead of the far right? “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit!”
My boys like to use this on each other. When one is on the verge of a meltdown because he got the blue plate and he wanted the orange one? You can be sure his brother will pipe up with, “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit!” 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Probably Undoubtedly because I am prone to pitching a fit when I don’t get what I want. 

If I believe that God is both Sovereign and Love—and I do—then when something comes my way, shouldn’t I take it without throwing a hissy fit? 


Of course, there is a place for lament. We see it in Job. We see it in Ruth as Naomi laments her lot in life. The Psalms are full of them.

But lament isn’t the same thing as whining. Lament cries out against the injustice of a situation while declaring and trusting in the Sovereignty of God. Whining cries out against the injustice of a situation while doubting the goodness of God and insisting on our own personal sovereignty.

The truth is that most of the time, I can’t even pretend I’m “lamenting” a situation. I’m pitching a fit because I want to be in control and I’m seriously ticked off that I’m not.

I may might definitely have control issues.

I want the blue plate, the cupcake with the chocolate icing, and I want my day to go the way I planned it thank you very much. And relinquishing my desire for control? Submitting to another plan? Choosing to rely on the Father who loves me rather than my self? I feel helpless to figure this out. It feels hopeless. 

Because it is. 

If I try to manufacture this dependence on my own, I will fail. 
If I try to work harder to be more patient, I will be spectacularly unsuccessful.
If I try to pretend everything is okay on the outside when I’m losing it on the inside, I will eventually explode all over everyone unfortunate enough to be near me. (This is my default mechanism—believe me when I say the explosions aren’t pretty).

So what am I supposed to do? I’m a task oriented girl. I want a plan!
And how does God answer my lament whining? Not with a detailed action plan, but with one command.

Abide in Me.

To abide is to remain, to stay. It’s a state of being, which is lovely, but I have things to DO!

So then He reminds me of this . . . 

John 15:4-5 (ESV) - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (emphasis mine)

Awesome. {Heavy sarcasm alert}

I am so far from living this out. It will take a lifetime of practice and I’m not even sure what it will look like. 

I suspect that one of the fruits of abiding in Christ is being able to accept whatever He gives, whenever He gives it, however He chooses to give it. 

Without pitching a fit.

I don’t know how to do this, but I suspect my Abba is smiling at me and whispering, “One, two, three, eyes on Me.”

I think that’s where I’ll start. 



A first grade teacher said...

Remember that right after "1,2,3 eyes on me. "All the students respound, "1,2, eyes on You" which is our affirmation that our eyes are always on Him.

Marcia Chadwick Moston said...

So good. I love this analogy. And you say it so well!