I have been trying off and on for about a year to potty train my son. I have read about different potty training methods and had the arsenal of treats ready, but my little guy wasn't ready to go. I might get him to go on the potty once or twice a day, but he wasn't ready for full-on potty training. He's 31 months now and I've been wondering, "When will I have to stop changing diapers?"
This morning my son came into my room to "help me wake up" and as I was trying to come round to consciousness he said, "I have to go potty." My initial response was going to be, "No...Mommy's still sleeping." Instead, I looked at my little guy who was quite intent about going to the potty and I dragged myself out of bed. He went potty, I was proud that he told me he had to go, and then (TA-DAH) we're potty training.
As we were getting through the morning: eating, running to the potty, watching Thomas, running to the potty, getting dressed, running to the potty, I actually had a few minutes to think about how much I have learned about God since I've become a parent.
God is the ultimate parent - and I have a lot to learn in the patient parenting department. God knows what is best for us and knows what we need to mature in our faith, but God doesn't force us. For instance, if I need to spend more time in prayer, God is going to plant a seed of longing in my heart for more quiet time. That seed grows and then I act on it when I'm ready.
Potty training is much the same way; it is a very good skill and it is will be good for my son. However, if I yelled at my son when he didn't use the potty during the last year or made him sit on the potty when it was scary, then I would have created more problems. A lot of parenting a toddler is about dealing with behavior issues immediately. "No, you don't climb up on the living room table and jump off!" Then there is the long-term, personal and emotional development. Many times it's about putting good things in his path, reminding him about the good things, and then waiting until he's ready.
And so it is with God. The good things are on my path right now and I have to figure out if I'm ready or not.