From Mario Mess-up to Bunk Bed ‘Fess Up

From Mario Mess-up to Bunk Bed ‘Fess Up

By Jen Lyons

Psalm 78: 71   From tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance.

Justin and Matt were determined to defeat Bowser.  A blazing fireball spewed ferociously out of his mouth, straight at Mario whom Justin thought he had under control.   Bowser’s victory was dreaded, and so was the sudden ringing of the phone.  “Hurry up & answer it!  It might be Mom & Dad!”  Justin bolted for the phone but resented his brother’s bossiness.  “Hi Dad.  No, dishes aren’t done yet, we were just about to do that.  Our room?”  Justin covered the phone so Dad couldn’t hear.  “Matt!” he hissed, “Did you start on our room yet?”  A deer-in-the-headlight-look was all Justin needed.  “Uh, no Dad, we… gotta do that yet…  O.k., bye…”

The phone almost slipped out of Justin’s sweaty hands.  He turned back to the screen, but without the thrill he had earlier.  It was like trying to see his game through a fog.  But it’ll just take a minute to finish my turn, he thought.  I’m almost to the last check-point…  Two hard-earned points later, Dad’s truck rumbled up the drive-way.

The boys bolted for their room faster than David fled from King Saul’s spear.  Justin almost tripped over his 3 year-old brother’s “Cat in the Hat” movie.  If only they could do the same thing – whip out a “Green Moss-covered Three-handled Family Grudunza” and get everything picked up in ten seconds flat.  But their cat didn’t wear a hat, and this wasn’t make-believe.

Dad and Mom walked in, looking forward to a tidy house and a board game to go with the cider and donuts they brought.  “Justin, Matt…  We’re home!”  Mom caught herself as she started loading dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  “Listen to that racket!” she said.  “Sounds like a cyclone in there.” They noticed the untouched chores and the video console still on.

Matt paced their bedroom floor as he chewed on his nails, “Hurry up! And we never even touched the dishes…  You should’ve never turned the T.V. on in the first place!”  But Justin was on a mission, madly stuffing dirty socks in the over-flowing laundry basket.   Matt looked around.  For the first time, he noticed the used wads of Kleenex all over the floor, thrown from the top bunk the last time he had a cold.  One of them hit the window and stuck to it.  When they started arguing over who would pick up the cat’s regurgitated hair-ball, Dad and Mom calmly walked in and sat on the bottom bunk.  Dad spoke first.  “I think we need to have a talk…”

Listen Up

What is initiative?  It is seeing and doing what needs to be done before being asked to do it.  As you can see from our story, Justin and Matt indulged in fun and games and let this get in the way of their responsibilities.  They lacked initiative.  How about you – have you neglected your responsibilities until asked to do them?  We’ve all been there, but we can learn and grow from others, including people in Scripture.

Remember David, who slew Goliath?  Even as a young boy, David demonstrated amazing initiative. When he tended the sheep, he could have spent all his time just sitting around.  Instead, he took initiative by meditating on and memorizing the Law of God, skillfully playing the harp, and practicing his slinging skills to protect his sheep. These initiatives made him a skilled shepherd and, most importantly, prepared him to lead the nation of Israel.

 Photo Courtesy of  Dreamstime

IMG_0481 (2)Jennifer loves kids galore, & helping them reach their potential more.
Privileged to have taught in the past, she’s homeschooling her boys & having a blast (most days.)
She loves being married & living in the country, with an occasional 4-legged creature sighting.
She also enjoys running & photography – but especially the fun of rhyming her writing.
She and her husband Neil have two sons and live in Central Michigan.


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