2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
The Lord is patient…but I am not. I am trying to be better about this but I really get frustrated when the kids are not contributing. And so it was that this morning I made it abundantly clear that during turtle tank cleaning time I was not going to be patient if they started slacking. After the previous week having to deal with a steady stream of being asked what they could do next, hearing they were bored (that one still gets me), or simply just up and walking off and not doing any work whatsoever I was ready to bring the house down if it started up again today. I reiterated my point after breakfast, while we were digging nests, and right before cleaning time started.
Now I am not sure if it was my sternness or if my prayers, aka pleading for God’s help, had been answered but the kids did phenomenal. They were cooperative, helpful, and hard working. When they encountered a task beyond their capacity they found something else that they could do. Lucia was her old chipper self again bounding from tank to tank and feeding. Anjali took the lead on cleaning out the hatchling tanks and the small Olive Ridley tank. And David scrubbed algae and brought buckets of water on demand. I had approached the day concerned that with Lorna’s absence the tank cleaning would take much longer and on top of cleaning out old nests we would be working well into the afternoon. Instead, with the contributions of a small army of hard working kids, we got all the turtles fed, cleaned, and returned before lunch.
I see the repentance to some extent here as the kids redeemed themselves from the previous week. Their effort was greatly improved and we had no tantrums. They made the day enjoyable rather than just tolerable and Sara and I were sure to praise them for their efforts. I hope that I find the lesson in this to also focus on my patience. The kids needed me to be stern and to know that there are consequences for bad behavior, but they also needed for me to give them the chance to redeem themselves from the previous week. I was happy to give them that chance and even happier that they took advantage of it. I cannot speak for God of course but I imagine that God would have the same feeling I did that afternoon – a smile in my heart because my children had done well. I hope I can make God smile more often than not too.