I was recently building a train track with our almost four year old. Growing up in an all girl family I never had a train set. Besides, Thomas the Tank Engine hadn’t made it big yet!
I found my imagination didn’t stretch far enough for Lego when I was young, but with trains there’s enough structure that I can work with and adapt to make a new track each time.
I got busy sorting out the different pieces and started to incorporate bridges and rail crossings as the track came into shape. My beautiful track vision all came to a screaming halt when Mr Nearly Four put a random piece in the track where I was working. This piece was one that divided the track in two and had not been a part of my master plan. Everything within me wanted to take the piece out straight away but I held my hand still. Instead, I tried using my words.
“Jai, thank you so much for helping me build the track. It’s looking very good. How about, instead of that piece you’ve put in there, we use this cool corner piece and then we can go straight into using this awesome bridge?”
I tried another way, showing how great another piece of track would look. That didn’t work either. I then tried to outline the folly of using his piece of track where he had put it but he didn’t seem to care. I was being blocked by a small child! My track was not going to look as good and it wasn’t going to work as well when it came to moving the trains around on it.
When my little helper turned his back to pick up some trains I thought I could quickly switch his train piece for the one I wanted but then I stopped myself.
Why was I building a track? It wasn’t for my own creative satisfaction, it was to play and interact with our little boy. I had totally lost the point of what I was doing. I was so busy creating my own amazing train line that I forgot about the most important part of my play – being with our little man.
I find this can happen in a number of areas of my life, particularly in my faith. At times I can get so fixated on a certain issue that is irritating me that I forget my main call of loving God and loving others.
When I start to judge others for what they say or what they do, I’m forgetting the whole point to what it is to be a Christian.
When I disagree with someone and feel I need to win or at least make my point loud and clear, I’m forgetting to love, which is what I should be all about.
When I’m more interested in getting everything ticked off my to-do list than listening to someone who wants to share a part of their life with me, I’ve forgotten the point of what it is to live for Christ.
When it comes to doing every day life, let’s keep our main point at the forefront of our minds. Let us always act in love rather than being right or first or perfect. That should be our point of difference from the rest of the world.
Lord, show me when I miss the point. Help me to focus on You rather than on what makes me feel better. Amen.
When have you missed the point?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.