Yesterday morning I had the cutest conversation with Mia. She was getting ready to go to school and she came to hug me goodbye. I wrapped my arms around her and when she looked up into my face I said, “Remember Mia – you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you – that means you can be speedy with your school work just like you were yesterday when your teacher was so proud of you.”
She said, “Mam-ma I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and last night I already decided that I would be speedy and pay attention to my teacher again today.” I felt a bit speechless as I bent down to give her an extra squeeze as she ran out to the waiting car.
Since yesterday, I have been pondering her words – knowing there is a nugget of truth to be gleaned. Since the beginning of 1st grade, Mia’s amazing teachers have been patiently working with her to concentrate and to actually do the work they know she is capable of. She tends to be a bit “pokey” and so everyday we encourage her to try not to be the last one done with her work or the last one outside with all of her snow gear on. We’ve dreamed up creative rewards – probably bribery at it’s finest:) but we have seen only minimal improvement until yesterday. How I wish I could have been privy to the little chat she must have had with herself last night – making the decision to repeat her good behaviour today.
Just like Mia, we have to make conscious decisions in order to change our behaviours – deciding that we are no longer happy with the status quo and that it’s time to reach higher. It is also critical for us to see ourselves as God sees us. When Joseph’s brothers saw a nuisance, God saw the future of a nation. When many saw David as a simple shepherd boy – God saw a King; and when our Lord looks at us, we need to be changing into what He envisions us to be.
We cannot afford to stay the way we are, when just like Mia’s teacher’s, He knows what we are capable of. At any moment, we can decide to become better spouses, parents, employees and friends – taking the first step toward a change that has the power to impact our future forever.
In Romans 7 and 8, Paul teaches us that the spirit and the flesh are always at war. When we want to do well, evil is also there enticing us to follow its ways. But through Christ, we have the power to make a good decision until positive and lasting change is manifested.
When we are positioned firmly in Christ we are no longer controlled by our sinful nature. We live boldly according to what the spirit desires – knowing that because our minds are set free – we emerge as conquerors. Aren’t you glad that those who are led by the spirit of God decide, just like 6-year-old Mia, that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them?