Have you ever tried to reason with a toddler? I have, and failed!
Miss F at two and a half is going through that stage. Shouts of ‘no!’, going as stiff as a board when I’m trying to dress her or, being equally difficult, flopping down to the floor when I’m trying to pick her up. The most intense though is when she just shouts and screams. Tears, snot- the works!
It’s thought that when a child tantrums their limbic system, the emotional side of their brain, overrides their rational cortex. They scream and shout, flailing their chubby limbs and are inconsolable. It’s not even a case of giving in to their demands and, trust me, I’ve tried, they are beyond that with little ability to stop or calm down.
How often am I like my toddler when I pray? I’m so consumed with anxiety. How am I going to meet this deadline? Will our finances last the month? Why can I never get that one bit of my hair to stay straight?! Rushing from one thing to the next, I pray but do I actually allow God to love me?
When my Miss F is tantruming she refuses my love. I want to hold her, stroke her hair, sing her our special song but she pushes me away. I kneel next to her with my arms open and, in time, she comes and buries her head in the nape of my neck. They are bittersweet hugs. We have those post cry jitters, she catches her breath and holds me close. Although I wish those hugs weren’t needed they are a beautiful thing. She no longer pushes me away but melts into my arms and receives my love.
This Lent I want to melt into God’s tender embrace. But how? I’ve decided to pray for a friend a day. Often my prayers are about my worries and anxieties but I want to place my friends into God’s loving care. Paradoxically, when I make moments in my day that are not about me that’s when I most grow in my faith.
I’m sure to some of you, this must sound like nonsense. Though a recent survey found that 42% of British adults pray so if you give it a go you certainly won’t be on your lonesome!
This Lent I’m choosing to receive God’s love because He’s knelt there on the carpet ready for me to come to his embrace.
***I want to hear from you! What are you giving up this Lent? Comment below!***