I need you guys to get ready! We're going to go somewhere really fun today!" I announced.
"Where are we going? How are we going to get there?" came the pleas from the kids.
I answered them. "I'm not going to tell you. It's a surprise. You guys just need to prepare yourselves."
"What do we need to do? What should we wear? What should we bring with us?" I could sense the excitement. They wanted very much to go to this fun surprise, but they weren't sure what they needed to do.
"Don't worry about anything. You don't need to bring anything. Just get dressed in comfortable clothes, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and please don't fight or bug each other while getting ready," I assured them.
"But where are we going? We want to know," they whined.
"It's an awesome place! I guarantee you'll love it! You'll have the best time and you'll see some friends there as well. Trust me. Now get ready!"
So, the kids went off to get dressed, but moments later the fighting started.
"He hit me."
"She took my game."
"But I don't have a game like that and I want it!"
"But it's not yours!"
"But you don't share!"
"She called me a smelly warthog."
"Children, that's not how you prepare to go. Don't try to kill each other. Don't steal your brother's game. Don't worry about what your brother has that you don't. And don't call each other warthogs, or any other names. If you can't follow these directions, you won't be going," I informed them.
"But what if we don't even like where we're going? Why won't you tell us more? When are we leaving?" they whined.
"Why don't you trust me? Haven't I always taken care of you? Have I ever hurt you? Have I ever told you to do anything that would be bad for you? Why can't you just do what you're instructed to do? Why the constant questions? Why do you continuously search for a reason to believe me? Why don't you simply have faith?"
Sometimes it's so frustrating to be a parent. You know what's best for your kids. You try to provide for their needs. You try to instruct them on how they need to behave. But you can't make them do what you want. They have to choose how they behave. Being a parent makes me feel close to God.