yes or no
He only wants yes. And he’s willing to throw his 4-year-old weight around to hear it. He begs, he whines; he even tries to make use of logic, which is always amusing.
“I want it. I neeeeeed it.” But sometimes the answer is no. And today, when the answer was no, he groaned and said, “But that’s not being sweet!”
Oh, wait. He thinks kindness equals yes. He thinks that if I don’t give him what he wants, I’m not being nice. I’m not being courteous unless I capitulate.
He doesn’t understand yet. He doesn’t realize that a closed door directs you on to a better house. He doesn’t realize that sometimes, “no” is the nicest answer I could give. Sometimes, “no” is neither noxious nor niggardly. Sometimes, “no” is nutritious.
When he wants to watch yet another movie. When he wants to go outside alone. When he wants to eat Cheez-Its for dinner. No is nurturing.
But he doesn’t understand. And, often, neither do I. Or, rather, I forget. When God doesn’t affirm my wishes, I stand wistfully in front of locked doors and wish there was a way; neglecting to turn my head and see the welcoming lights shining from the house down the street.
I want yes. I beg, I whine; I even try to make use of logic, which must be so amusing. But sometimes the answer from on high is no. And when I hear it, I groan. I equate kindness with “yes”.
But sometimes, “no” is the kindest answer He can give. Sometimes, “no” is meant to drive me on to something noble. When He says no to one of my wishes, He’s saying yes to one of His. He’s taking the rough draft of my life and rewriting it- taking out paragraphs I thought were important and replacing them with unsuspected plot twists and adventures that jump out at me from behind. He’s replacing all of me with Himself.
And it means that sometimes I find myself yanking on a locked door like a disappointed child.
But I cannot beg, whine, or reason myself out of the fact that kindness does not equal yes.
Affirmation does not lead to affluence.
And sometimes, nothing is more nourishing than “no”.