The other day I had to sit my kids down and have a talk with them. As everyone was waking up and the morning was progressing on, everything just seemed to orient toward negativity. Bickering, picking at each other, giving those sour looks when being asked to do things. I don't know what it's like in your house, but that doesn't fly in mine. Not that I'm gonna throw things and beat it out of them. But it has a solution, and sometimes that means we take a time-out from life and reflect on things for a minute.
So we did.
I like to start things off by agreeing with Jesus. Just cause I feel like that's a solid place to start. "Seek and you will find..." Those words burned into my head and I shared them with the kids. That means, that whatever we go looking for in life, we will find. Take Chunk for example (our toddler). Somehow, he always finds the Roku remote. No matter what he was doing before...the very precise moment that someone sets that thing down within his reach it's a matter of seconds before its in his hands. Why? Because he's always looking for it.
We're no different from toddlers just because we get older. We just get more sophisticated about how we manifest that basic concept. So when we're picking on our brother because we think he's dumb. Yeah we think he's dumb. We're constantly vigilant for the moments when he's going to do something dumb again, and grabbing that moment up like Chunk with the Roku remote.
When we think our sister is selfish. When we think our kids are clumsy. When we just know that we asked them to clean, but they're gonna screw it up somehow. When we see the bad in others and we interact with it. A large portion of that comes from just believing it would be there, looking for it as things happen, and leaping on it when it does.
Tangent, I can't help but think this is how our society is acting right now. Men are the problem. It's toxic masculinity. Teens are the problem, you know how dumb young people are. Women are the problem, Karens are everywhere. White people are the problem because (insert bias here). Black people are the problem because (insert bias here). How do I react to finding out we're pregnant?
We don't just do this with others either. We are harsh on ourselves with this as well. I can focus so hard on all the things going wrong that then I start to see everything that goes wrong, and only what goes wrong. We pick ourselves apart physically, mentally, emotionally...and it can feel like it never ends. I've seen people say they're too fat. Starve themselves to a place of disappearance and still see the fat. I've seen people so overwhelmed with their bad temper, learning disability, or whatever it is. They keep looking for it, and of course they keep finding it. Honestly, we consume ourselves with looking for and (of course) finding the negative. And we stay stuck with it until we become intentional about looking for what's already better, and building upon it.
Whatever you seek, you WILL FIND.
So, it seemed like they weren't really closing in on the concept. You know how it is when the eyes glaze over and they're listening enough to parrot something back. So, I did it.
Imagine you're at a buffet. You've just walked in. You can eat anything you want. It's all within reach. All the delicious meats, vegetables, desserts - all of it. And you head straight for the toilet. 'Cause you just new there was a turd in there. Yep, you were right. And you start eating out of the toilet.
Then came the screams.
Yeah, that's how I feel when I hear you bickering. When I hear you so focused on all the shit you can find wrong with each other, that you don't stop and realize you can have any of the good you want from interacting with each other. You can have a wonderful day and build each other up. But you look for the bad, find the bad, sit in the bad, talk about it, complain over it. It dominates your day.
Then I wonder if God really wants to hit me over the head with that message all the time.