I have been a bit discouraged at the attitude of Josiah this week regarding his birthday. No matter how much we talked to him about the importance of celebrating God's creation and being thankful to God for giving him life, all he seemed to be focused on was presents and having friends over. None of which are bad in themselves but he just had an aire of expectation of presents. Needless to say next year we are going to do a quiet event with just the family. In any case I have been looking for teachable moments that would help Josiah understand that it is not about him.
During his birthday supper, Josiah mentioned that he gets served first because he is the birthday boy. So I purposefully served Naomi a bigger slice of pizza first and reminded him that the first shall be last. For desert, we had some left over cake and I topped it with raspberries and melted dark chocolate. I also table served a dollop of whipped cream on top of the individual slices. It was as I began this process that God used it to share a big lesson to all of us.
I took Josiah's fork to retrieve a nice size dollop of whipped cream and put it on Daddy's cake first and then mine and then Naomi's. As I was doing this I was talking about what it means that the first is last and the last is first. How God honors us when we think of others before ourselves. How we need to deny ourselves even in the smallest things lest we become too prideful and because that was the example Jesus gave us. And by doing so, we honor our Heavenly Father who sees and knows all things. By this time the whipped cream was almost out and I began to scrape the container with Josiah's fork so that I had a double portion of cream and placed it on his cake. And I ended by remarking that the when we apply God's principles and remember that the last is actually first, we will probably be surprised that it isn't the worst place to be after all and I gave Josiah the fork I had been using which was covered with whipped cream on all sides from all the scraping.
Almost immediately, Josiah returned to my humble, thoughtful, kind boy. He even thanked us and hugged us like one who truly was grateful and joyful. What a great God we serve that He helps us to understand His Ways when they are so counter to the culture we are in today. That He does not keep HImself as an enigma but rather is a Father that takes delight in His children.