"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox." Proverbs 14:4 (KJV)
My wife and I are spending the week taking care of our four grandchildren. Their Mom and Dad have had the opportunity to get away for some time just the two of them. This is vital in a marriage for the couple to keep their relationship strong. And, it is great for us Grandparents to have the time with the future of our world.
In the verse that I listed at the start of the page, my wife used to have it hung up in our home while our children were little. Both she and I tend to be the kind of people who believe that everything has a place, and it should be in it. Well, as all parents will attest, when you have young children, not everything (maybe most of everything) does not find itself in its rightful place.
Toys here, there, and everywhere. So much of the items used in a day finds its way to the floor rather than the shelf it came from. we can spend our time constantly picking up, putting away, fussing, fuming, chiding... well, you probably get the picture... instead of enjoying and realizing that these young children will be the future of our world. I am constantly reminded that one day, my Grandkids won't remember that I made them always clean up, but they will remember that I spent time with them.
I like the paraphrase that the Good News Translation has of this verse, it gives an illustration and more of a picture of the Proverb. The GNT says, "Without any oxen to pull the plow your barn will be empty, but with them it will be full of grain." Yes, if we want an immaculate, clean, straight house, it is only possible without children constantly living in it. But, for our future (and the world's), we need these children. So, putting up with a little mess is a small price to pay for building a future and a legacy.
Spending time with the Grandkids causes us to remember what is most important in life. Not necessarily a perfectly straight house, but time spent playing and talking with our future, our legacy in this world. So, enjoy a little mess and look forward to a life of fullness with the kids.
Prayer: Father, as I look around at some of the mess on the floor, I am reminded to think about how you look at my life. I may not always put everything back where it belongs, I may leave loose ends, I may not stop and make it all "pretty." But, You spend time with me in the midst of my clutter, You encourage me to be creative, You shape me into being a legacy and a future I will have with You. You love it when I pause and say, I remember when God and I......." Thank You, Amen.