Who Moved My Cheese and Spilled the Ketchup

Patience.  Pass it on.
Maybe every parent can appreciate this commercial.  Every human can relate to it.
Powerful message and a not-so-gentle reminder of my own past failures in the area of patience with my kids.
A nice twist here is the fact that the gentleman is not only near the completion of his work, but he is also old enough
that the prospect of doing the whole project over again will not only be time-consuming, but also probably unpleasant
physically on a pair of 70+ year-old knees.
His mind may be saying , “oh crap!”, but his reaction shows love and kindness.
Each time it airs, I’m flooded with memories of poor reactions on my own part.
Times I failed to exhibit patience with my own children.
Bad moods driven by the stresses of life and problems in my relationships with other people=
Shorter fuse when dealing with cases of kids simply being kids.
Reactions that come too quickly and too harshly.  Guilty.
Discipline without a display of love, teaching, or explanation.  Guilty.
Judgement errors in tone of voice and volume of voice.  Guilty.
The great value of a commercial like this?
Grabbing my attention today.
Causing me to reflect on my failings of yesterday.
Plan for better reactions and outcomes tomorrow.
Kids will be kids.  Bad things will happen, crazy things will happen.
“I will not react this way!”
Plan ahead.  Pray for strength and guidance for those times where life leaves you with your guard down.
“I will react this way!”  With patience, kindness, love, teaching.   (and discipline with purpose instead of anger).
So when my 7 year-old son Kal opened the magnum-sized ketchup bottle lid side down while standing in front
of the refrigerator (and a good amount of ketchup did find its way to the kitchen floor), my initial thought was to deliver a harshly spoken dose of scorn, “Son!  What did you think was gonna happen?”
But I remembered the “Patience” commercial when I saw that look in his eyes that perfectly combined an “uh-oh” look with more than a
trace of fear of my reaction.
My initial poor response was replaced with a slightly better, “That’s called gravity son.  And it’s nothing we can’t fix.  I’ll help you clean it up.”
Pay attention today.
Make an honest evaluation of the past.
Remember our own imperfections when faced with someone else’s.
Plan for better reactions tomorrow.
Love, teach, influence in godly ways……….patiently.

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