Since I became a parent I often marvel at the relationship between parent and child and how it mirrors God and me. Usually the thought makes me feel all warm and happy inside. I know how much I love my little boy and God loves me (and every other person) beyond comprehension. It’s amazing to feel so secure and loved. And then there’s days like today...when the comparison makes me feel...not so happy.
I love being a parent and I deeply enjoy my two year old son. It blows my mind when I think about how much he learns each day: language, motor skills, imagination, etc. And then there is the learning agenda of the child: how can I press Mama & Dada’s buttons? The most common avenues are: whining, temper tantrums, and refusing to eat. My beloved little boy found out that hitting really pressed my buttons. However, he has discovered, through repeated time outs, hitting is not okay. Therefore, he has developed a new way to express his displeasure when he hears the word “no”, he spits. And, depending on my proximity to him (i.e. kneeling, bending over, or holding him), he will spit in my face. He doesn’t purposefully take aim at my face and I know that he does not understand the cultural significance of spitting in someone’s face, but it drives me crazy!
Now let’s move on to spitting at God. It makes me shudder to think of the times I’ve spit in God’s face. There have been times in my life that I’ve thought, “I’m going to sin and I don’t care.” That is deliberately spitting in the face of God. Not at all a pleasant thing to admit to (praise God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation!).
There are also times when I’ve spit in God’s face and I wasn’t aware of it. How is that possible? Allow me to explain. I like to think I rely on God, but the truth is I rely on me. I do things that I know I can do. Yeah, sure, I’ll pray about it and ask for God’s blessing, but I’m the one at the helm, not God. It might not be spitting in God’s eye, but it sure is spitting in God’s general direction. It says, “Thanks very much, but I got this one.”
If my son spitting me in the face drives me crazy, what is God thinking?