At dinnertime one evening, Cole wasn’t eating his sandwich. He did, however, make several references to dessert.
Realizing he was biding his time until we brought the dessert out, I told him he’d have to eat his sandwich before he could have any. He started off strong, but over the course of eating he began to slow down. When he realized he wasn’t going to complete his sandwich, he formed, what was for him, an elaborate plan.
He tore a large chunk of his sandwich off and set it to one side of his plate. He slid it across the table toward me.
“This is for you,” he said. “If you get hungry, you can eat this because I left it for you.”
I looked at him for a moment, trying to remain impassive, but I just couldn’t do it. As hard as I tried, I was unable to hold my laughter in. I laughed. A lot.
“Do you really expect me to fall for that?” I asked.
With an angelic look on his face — the thought never occurring to him that he was admitting he believed I wasn’t smart enough to know what he was doing — he replied, “Uh huh.”
Sometimes we do the same thing to God. He’s set up a standard of behavior for us, but we don’t want to follow it. We may bide our time, hoping by some strange turn of events, God will change his standard.
And why not? That’s what our culture does. If something’s not accepted now, give it some time. It’ll be accepted, even celebrated, before long.
Since God’s standard doesn’t change, after a period of time we realize we’re not going to get what we want by waiting. So we come up with an alternate plan. We devise what we think is an elaborate plan to change the standard, to trick God into letting us have our way. We may do that by pretending to be doing God a favor, when we’re really only acting with our own best interests in mind.
Guess what? God is not fooled. He isn’t going to fall for it. Just like I didn’t fall for Cole’s attempted fake-out. God is too wise to be taken in by our schemes.
Yet if we follow God’s standard, that is where true wisdom begins (Proverbs 2:1-2, 5-6).
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.