Persuaded to Roll
Growing up in a rural hill community, we had few toys, but thanks to my little brother, Donnie, we never lacked something to play with. That’s because Donnie would drag things home when he and his buddy, Preacher, roamed about the hill. Once, he brought home a very long rubber rope. Boy, did we have fun with that. We played tug-of-war, threw it over a branch and made a swing, and had hours of fun using it as a jump rope. Whether it was an old tire, a broken roller skate or a steering wheel from a wrecked car, we could figure out how to have fun with it.
When Donnie showed up one day with a big barrel, were we ever excited. “Get inside, Donnie, and I’ll roll you down the hill,” I said.
“No, it’s too steep.”
He was right. Our large yard sloped down to a ditch about 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. Bordering the opposite side of the ditch was a shed. That didn’t stop me, though. After all, he was safe inside the barrel, right?
“Scaredy cat,” I said.
That was all 9 year-old Donnie had to hear. I had successfully persuaded him. Donnie curled inside the barrel, and I gave it a gentle shove just as Mother stepped out the front door.
“What are you doing!” she shouted. I covered my ears as the barrel bounced the ditch and thundered into the side of the shed. Mother scrambled to help Donnie, and I attempted to become invisible. Fortunately, my brother suffered no permanent damage other than his on-going fear of barrels and big sisters.
One thing I have learned about myself as I have grown older is that I had a way of being very persuasive if I wanted to see something happen. I would nag, complain, push, plead-use any method I thought might get me what I wanted. Often, I was successful, unfortunately, much to my own undoing.
God is the only one knowledgeable enough to understand the outcome of every situation. However, He sometimes allows us to have what we demand, even though He knows it’s not the best thing for us. God’s word exhorts us to seek Him first-His will, His way and His truth. If we do that, we can be assured that the outcome is what He knows is better than anything we can possibly dream up. A reminder from Psalm 32:8 says: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”